We Ain't Done Yet - South Coast Ski Trip

Posted on June 07, 2017 at 01:41 AM

May 27, 2017

Earlier in the week, three friends and I decided we would head out on our last overnight ski trip. We knew the conditions were going to be nothing special. The recent warmth in the area had awakened slide paths and the sun had cooked the snow to corny borscht. This season had been unbelievable in terms of snowfall though. We knew northern facing aspects still had meters worth of snow to play around with. Even if we didn't get to ski the usual lines, fun was to be had. This trip was more about exploration, escape and the simple joy of playing outside.

Around 8:00 am - Vancouver - Having celebrated the birthday of our trip-mate the night before and knowing that the length of these late May days was on our side, this seemed like a suitable time to round the troops for departure.

8:30 amLast minute preparations a thing of the past and we are packed into recently-turned-23-years-of-age-Alex's Jeep to depart our home in Kitsilano, Vancouver. Spirits are high but stomach's are empty. Siegels Bagels it is.

9:00 am - Ok, now we're on the move. Spirits are even higher. Jokes are flying a million miles an hour. Only about 5 more stops to be made before the real adventure starts.

10:00 am - Squamish - Food. You gotta eat. Independent grocery store provides us Clif bars, Annies mac n cheese, chorizo sausage, cheese and crackers, oatmeal, and apples. Our trip is thriftily stocked.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm - Whistler - Three stops are made to scramble together our gear at our parent's houses. They thought we were done. We refuse to stay off the snow. It's a miracle we find everything within this time frame.

12:05 pm - Whistler - Mark has forgotten his skins despite our repetitive jokes/reminders to not forget your skins. U-turn.

12:35 pm - Pemberton - Lunch is in order as well as one final stop to acquire gear. I get the last available pesto chicken sandwich at Mt. Currie Coffee Co. The others are stuck with veggie sandwiches. I am not sorry.

2:00 pm - We push the limits of the Jeep as well as Alex's ability to drive stick up a muddy logging road. In the winter you have to skin up the entire road so the further we are able to drive, the better.

2:15 pm - The tires of the Jeep are a foot deep in mud. We cannot press onward but an excellent opportunity to park and get organized presents itself so we take it.

2:30 pm - We slap on our hiking boots and reluctantly strap our skis and boots to our backpacks. We're off.

2:40 pm - A mere 100 meters later and we hit the snow line. This is brilliant. Swap the hiking boots for the ski boots, click into the skis, and we're on our way ahead of our expected schedule.

3:15 pm - We reach the hut in no time having crossed two creeks with relative ease. We take a hard 5, drain a Clif Bar, and unload our overnight gear to alleviate some of the weight and bulk from our backpacks.

4:00 pm - Down at the lake we re-fill our water bottles and stumble across two friendly women who are set up to tent for the evening. They go above and beyond to take some exceptional pictures of us before we set off again.

5:00 pm - At a leisurely pace we climb through the trees and into the meadow above the hut. The sun is baking everything but we don't mind the opportunity to sport some tropical get ups.

5:30 pm - We pause along the lower ridge to soak up some cosmic rays and enjoy a nice charcuterie board with some moderately cold beverages.

6:00 pm - A natural wind lip sparks our interest just below us so we drop down to investigate. A little shaping with our shovels and it's ready to go. A few hits in and Mark sends one of the deepest back flips I've ever witnessed. We decide to cool it as the nearest hospital is more than a hop, skip and a jump out of reach. Safety first.

7:00 pm - It's been decided that dinner will be held at the summit of the high ridge so we make a reservation and begin the final climb of the day.

7:45 pm - Our dinner table presents itself as the final steep section crests to the top of the ridge. The lighting is sensational and the 360 degree view is almost too much to completely absorb.

8:30 pm - Dinner is served. White Cheddar Annie's with sliced Chorizo sausage. It tastes like a gourmet meal.

9:00 pm - The taste of a Pabst Blue Ribbon is accompanied by a sunset that sheds a medley of colourful hues on the peaks surrounding us. Matt poses candidly.

9:30 pm - The loss of the sun comes with a drop in temperature. We need to utilize the remaining light to ski down to the hut so we gear up for a descent under the decorated skies. It's one of the coolest runs I've ever skied.

10:00 pm - The conclusion of our descent comes with a leg burning labyrinth of dimly lit tree skiing to the front door of the hut. The prospect of taking off our ski boots is a delight.

10:30 pm - Inside the cabin we start a fire to dry out our gear, replenish fluids with Canadian Club, and play cards until our excitement wears off and the exhausting effects of a fun filled day in the sun set in. It takes no time at all to fall asleep in the comfort of the warm hut loft.

We left the morning after and ended up back in Vancouver in time to spend Sunday evening ocean-side. The trip was cheap like borscht. We live in an area that's ripe with adventure. Make the most of every opportunity possible to..

Go Play Outside!

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