Jan 14, 2015
Went out with Sharon, Margus and Brett (his first ever splitboard tour) to look for rumoured decent conditions in the Blackcomb backcountry.
The biggest hazard and initial come-to-God moments were on a very tough firm skintrack from the Blackcomb gates to Spearhead Col where Brett had to immediately learn some fancy skinning techniques to deal with the ice-skates conditions. Once we were on Spearhead Col taking in the views the mood improved tremendously. We made our way via the Guides Notch to Cham Chutes and down the main chute. Then over to Vista Bowl where we found that these lower elevation slopes had slid and were of below average snow quality. Then up to Decker to take in more views and ski out 9th Hole in the evening light.
An inversion with temps minus 5 in valley and +5 in alpine. Clear skies, winds light from SW. Lots of natural action especially on S aspects with runnels from rocks. Some naturals on S, NE and ENE moderately steep slopes (35-45deg) but no propogation or stepdowns.
NE in particular skied beautifully with 1 to 3cms new on a firm supportive base. Whole slide of pictures from the day here
Up to the Notch to the Spearhead Glacier
Margus down Cham Chutes
Shar in Cham Chutes
Shar dropping into Vista Bowl
Vista Bowl had slid – snow quality was below average
Up Decker navigating slots
Snow bridges probed 300 – 320cms +. I got Margus to test my measurements by wandering around in the slots
McBride Range views
Tippie in the golden light
Margus waiting to drop into 9th Hole
Snow was fast, smooth and stable
Definitely above average for Shar
In the golden light
Not a bad first splitboard tour ever for Tippie
Done! Slide debris was old.