It started on September 18th, a Saturday when me and my buds/roomies got word that the well below average temps and tons of rain had dusted the east side of the Rockies with some serious snow. After checking some online forums and weather reports over the rest of the weekend and even hearing of some slides on the glacier happening we decided with had to go and at least check it out!
We decided that Tuesday worked best, so Monday night we packed our bags with avy gear, protein bars, G2. We made sure our factory wax wasn't too dried out and mess around with are skins that where just a touch to small but got them working anyways. The next morning it was up at 6 am, not that any of us slept much, and loaded the truck to make our way through rush hour Calgary traffic and onward to the mountains.
It was epic! As we started on Highwood Pass the ground went from green to white and we knew we were going to hit pay dirt...I mean snow. By the time we pulled into the parking lot at 7250 feet (2206 meters (highest paved point in Canada)) there were plow trucks going by clearing the roads.
After suiting up the guys put me through a 45 or so minute crash course in using a beacon, probing and digging, just in case. It was nice getting to do that as I have spent tons of time reading up on avys in books and on web sites. It was also awesome having two experienced guys take a backcountry noob like myself out and show me the ropes a little.
Having your hike start only 200 feet vert below the top elevation of Whistler mountain is well, you get winded easy, spesh with out a touring set up! So it was a nice and easy pace most of the way up. On the way up we opted not to do the two and half hour hike up to Rae Glacier were we heard news or slides, so we stuck to a nice open then into glades 1500 foot vert run.
It was so sweet putting my skis on for the first time of the season and beating my earliest day ever by over a month. Once we were all geared up it was a quick group fist pound then time to rip. I pointed my skis straight down the open face to pick up some speed. The snow was knee deep and light. Laying in those first turns was sick, they made me forget about the long summer away from skiing. After a bunch of long, arcing highspeed turns I got a reminder of the fact that it actually was still September from the noise under Fisk's skis. It turns out there wasn't much of a base but it didn't matter, we were out rippin' and havin' a good time. After getting into the trees we managed to find some fun little but sketchy airs and finished off a run with hilariously gay figure 8's down the last 40 feet to the highway, were we returned to the car cracked some beers and scoped the core shots on our skis.
Due to the time involved and the snow conditions we didn't head back up for another run, I was just happy that my brand new S5's didn't have a pulled edge. Also I'll through up some footage when I get my go pro hooked up to a computer.