British Columbia 2018 – Kicking Horse Slack-country

“Great things come from out of being hungry and cold. Once you’re pampered, you get lazy.”

-Rob Zombie

 

Well, we had an amazing trip to British Columbia last week! We were a group of six from North Tahoe and ventured up to Golden, BC. We awoke each morning to some truly bone chilling temps with low’s in the range of -20 Fahrenheit!

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On top of the world as we hike out of Kicking Horse

We hired a local ski mountaineering guide who did an amazing job of showing us around and finding the goods. He happened to have been a Kicking Horse ski patroller for 12 years prior to ski guiding; so needless to say, he knew where to find the best conditions just outside the ski area.

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Our guide, Aaron, showing us to the top of our first run of the trip…  I’d say we haven’t quite built the trust yet… 🙂
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Jeff is feeling good ripping out of our first couloir

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We finally found winter! Here’s Dave from Tahoe Mountain Sports ski modeling as usual. Click on the link to check out his blog post on the trip as well.

Kicking Horse boasts a number of East to West running ridge lines featuring tons of steep couloir skiing in an area called “The Molars”. This offered up some cold North facing skiing alternating with slightly warmer sunny slopes.

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On past BC trips we were socked in and never saw the peaks for much of the trip. Day #1 was glorious with bluebird skies and fresh pow!
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I am pretty sure that when Zack dreams, it looks something like this… 🙂

 

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Aaron kicked a hole in the cornice and jumped right into another fresh one! See him down at the bottom in the shade?
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…and here’s the aftermath of another pristine Kicking Horse couloir that we had to ourselves!
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Dave having a really horrible time, wrapping up Day #1

Our group made our home base in a rented home in the town of Golden, BC. Golden lies on the East end of Roger’s Pass which allowed us a number of options to ensure we found the best snow everyday. We could choose between skiing out of Kicking Horse ski area, skiing the endless terrain off of Roger’s Pass, or heading further East into the Canadian Rockies. We were able to keep cost low by cooking at the rental, we hit the hot tub up every night, and most importantly, we hired a guide to ensure we never missed a beat and found the best conditions throughout the whole trip. DSC_0209DSC_0215 Our guide on this trip, Aaron Enns did a wonderful job. He is very qualified having earned the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) ski mountaineering guide certification. He also has a partner, Kerri who is a local massage therapist. We spent a night out to dinner with Aaron and Kerri and they are great people. Here’s a copy of Aaron’s Ski Guiding Bio.

Additionally, we connected with Aaron via Backcountry Solutions. My ski partners have come to BC in the past and utilized the skills of Rich and Julie (owners) for guiding and catering trips and can’t say enough about how impressed they were with their skill sets.

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And more from our “Gray Bird” Day #2 exploring the Kicking Horse slack country. On Day #2 we hiked out of Kicking Horse with the objective of skiing a beautiful peak coined the Wisdom Tooth.

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Standing atop the Wisdom Tooth, Aaron set an anchor and triggered a big cornice drop which helped instill further confidence in the slope’s stability.

We couldn’t help but shout out our favorite GNAR quotes and have a group pole-whacking session standing atop the Wisdom Tooth. “I’m the best skier on the mountain!”

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Stoke was high after fresh powder turns off the summit of the Wisdom Tooth!
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…more and more and more and more

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Sara looking like a BOSS dropping into our final line of day #2
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This was one of my favorite lines of the trip… but there were so many to choose from!

Stay tuned for more to come!

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