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Blackcomb Backcountry Skiing – Dec 29th 2010

January 3, 2011

Cold and more cold littered with moments of comedy at Trev’s expense.

So we woke up to bright sunny skies and plans to meet up with Pemberton friend Mike Wilson (also a rad Guide if you ever need one) for a little fun off the back of Blackcomb. It was the first day Blackcomb had the chance to open the backcountry access gate after the high winds and large snowfalls from the previous few days. We thought we would check it out and sure enough with Mike’s handy radio we managed to make it out the gate first. The avalanche report had been going on about 100+cms of new snow and high winds over the past few days so I wasn’t too sure what we would find. We made the call to start things off slowly and see what conditions were like…. well they were pretty scary. Deep slab avalanches down to glacial ice, heavily windblown slopes and bitterly cold temperatures. That being said we still managed to find some good skiing. Highlight of the day had to be Trev being forced to boot pack out of Decker Glacier as his skins had frozen. Definitely felt sorry for the guy but at least the boot packing kept him warm!

Destination: Decker Glacier, leaving from the Blackcomb Glacier access gate and going via the East Col and Circle Glacier.

Beta: John Baldwin Whistler Backcountry Map, Mike’s local knowledge and my memory of the area from last year.

Weather: Sunny and fucking cold. -22 celsius was what Whistler Blackcomb was calling the alpine temps.

Conditions: Very windblown on most aspects with cross and reverse loading. Still some pockets of radness to be found though.

Stability: Dismal. 3-Considerable for the alpine according to the report but I would have to rate it higher on the steeper slopes.

Wind effect seen on the climb up to the East Col.

Mike bundled up with the view at his back

Trev rips it down to Circle Glacier/Lake, nice wind waves on the snow.

Scary Avalanche on one of the steeper lines. See the bare ice now showing. Certain aspects were just not skiable.

Trev skins back to Disease Ridge, after we sat in the sun and got his skins working again. Nice lines in the background, need better stability though.

Oh you want me to go around the little rocks… shit! Me dropping in to Corner Pocket (or some little slot near Corner Pocket). The snow in this spot was magic.

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