With his long held desire to start winter camping, to save time at the start of a ski tour, Alex convinced us to head out winter camping. Looking for sites, we decided on the Wilcox Pass trailhead, which is at the very south end of Jasper National Park near the Icefields Center. In the winter, you get a bivvy permit and are allowed to camp near the trailhead, or in the Wilcox Creek Campground if you decide to walk in.
We loaded up the Vibe with ski and camping gear, picked up Alex once he finished work at 6 PM, and hit the road, getting to the Wilcox trailhead around 9:45 PM. We walked in, set up camping, and rehydrated the dehydrated pasta Alex earlier concocted.
We checked out the stars (sorry, no pictures – I left the tripod at home), then headed to bed for a few z’s. In the morning, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise, made coffee, and enjoyed some oatmeal surrounded by the beautiful Columbia Icefields.
Packed up, we hit the road, and got to the parking spot on the shoulder for Crowfoot Glades in almost perfect timing to meet Paul. We toured into the glades for a beautiful day of skiing surprisingly soft and powdery snow. We skied a short open slope early in the day, expecting the sun to come up and destabilize the snowpack.
Heather decided to show off a unique technique for skin removal, which made skin removal a breeze for the rest of the day!
The skies were a mix of light clouds and solar heating did not have a big impact through the day. With some confidence in the local conditions, we rode the ridge in the early afternoon on our last run. We snuck down through the gully, showing off our short turn skills to each other, and headed back to Calgary.