22 February 2013

A Powder Day & Moonlight Skiing

Photo from the end of our trip - Mattier pointy mountain at left, Joffre at right

On New Years Eve day, we set off from Keith's Hut with big plans to try to summit and ski Mt. Mattier. As we climbed onto the Anniversary Glacier the weather was deteriorating, so we reassessed our plan and opted to descend to this awesome powder field we skied the day before and make some laps.

Alice and I descending to the pow under cloudy skies. Photo by Andrew Sullivan.

In the backcountry it's important to not focus too much on "objective" and instead make plans for yourself that all lead to fun with variable levels of risk. So, good team decision on this one! We had lots and lots of pow all to ourselves =D

Andrew laying in the skin track.

More steep awesomeness

Picking a line. Photo by Alice Bremner

By mid-afternoon the sun had come back out and we were able to actually see what we were skiing. Not bad Canada. Not bad at all.

OH, Cannnnn-aaaaahhhh-daaaaaaa!

I love this photo of Alice. So primal. So Fierce!

Another shot of Alice getting after it. Red, White, and Blue style !
Not bad for a day's work. 

Back at the Hut, it was dinner time and before we knew it - time for dessert! Alice kindly brought some chocolate pudding, which we shared with the entire table.

Juya and Alice showing of their proudly made chocolate bowl

One thing to note about late December in the Canadian mountains: it gets dark early. Like, it's DARK by 4:30pm. With the shortness of the days and the amount of energy we were expending, we were really lucky to be able to stay up until 9pm all of the previous evenings.

This being New Years Eve, a heated debate erupted at the table about just how long we had to stay up to celebrate NYE. Being Canada, they celebrate in Newfoundland at 8pm PST. I was arguing that we crack those cans of champagne that I hauled up to the hut (yes, they have canned champagne) at 8pm and go to sleep. Another faction was arguing that we needed to wait until at least 9pm and celebrate an American New Years!

Surprisingly not terrible. Actually pretty good!

This debate was put to rest when someone said, "Well, I mean it's got to be almost 8pm now, we can wait another hour!" And we all agreed until someone looked at a clock, and were like, "I wonder what time it is???.....SIX THIRTY?!?!?!"

We continued to drink our other drinks as long as we could, then when those ran out about 8:30 we cracked the champagne and toasted to the New Year. 

Happy 2013!

Only THEN did the night get interesting! Invigorated by our bubbly liquid courage, we all geared back up into our skinning attire and ascended about 1,000 feet by moonlight to ski down under the stars. I can honestly say it was one of the coolest experiences of my life, and definitely one of my most memorable New Year's Eve's ever.

Does not do the lighting justice....but a rough look at our moonlight ski. 

The view during twilight. We ascended to the knoll just above treeline center.

New Years Day greeted us sunny and clear, but alas we had to get back to our normal city lives. After a hearty breakfast we loaded our packs, snapped some final pictures, and began the hour long ski back to the car. I must say, not being hung over on New Year's Day was a surreal and rewarding experience! I just wish I hadn't been so worked from the weekend so that I could have enjoyed the ski out more!

The Crew: I love that we accidentally (almost) made a colour palindrome!

Thanks to everyone for a FANTASTIC four day weekend! I hope to get back up and hang at Keith's Hut in the very near future!

Happy Hutters

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