Sunday, January 9, 2011

Big lines and blower pow in....Edmonton?

Well work started a little earlier than I had hoped, and so I was stuck in Edmonton for the weekend, pretty much trapped by the storms that were pounding the mountains that I wanted to ski.

Lots of new snow on the ground for Saturday morning and I had to decide how I was going to blow off my energy: wayyyy too much snow to go biking, the snow would have been pretty deep for XC skiing, but I had my skimo race setup! I set off with my new fast 50mm mohair skins and headed out from home to the museum hill. It was a bit of a slog, but I soon got there, and there was some blower pow waiting for me! Lots of new snow on top of a supportive, base.

Sorry no pictures, but I did plenty of laps, and found this pocket where one turn would pretty much guarantee a faceshot! On my way back, I headed up McKinnon Ravine, thinking about a couple of ridgeline MTB trails on either side of Ramsay Ravine that might be fun to ski. I bootpacked up the one on the museum side, it was a little narrow, but it was pretty deep. There were a couple of mothers with small children at the bottom. They cheered me on while I was fully expecting them to say to their children "don't you ever do what this stupid boy is doing!". Then they asked me if I was going to shralp the line on the other side of the Ravine!

So I started booting up the other line (the one with the wooden boards in the middle holding up the slumping earth, chainlink fence at the top). This one was a little wider, and I did some jump turns up top, ripped an airplane turn off the board and slayed the spine-like apron! Sick! Then the long slog home, where I bonked hardcore!

Sunday, I had a new objective: There is a chute down the bank to the river in front of my house. Bill and I have biked down it, and Bill named it BMT (big mountain tuck).
Bill on the drop in ramp

Well, while walking the dog, she was looking pretty filled in, so I sacked up and slayed it!

Ghetto Edmonton skiing, calls for ghetto mountaineering skills. When I biked down this, I had a real problem climbing out of it, so this time, I brought some rope!

Here is a pic from the bottom. The line S-bends down between the two big evergreen trees.

Picture of the drop in ramp in winter. you can see the rope as well!

Then in the evening, I headed out with Steve to Fox drive hill for a little night session. Steve mentioned something about it being an old ski hill back in the day. We saw a Land Rover stuck in the snow on the way over! We started off on the face pointing towards the creek and ripped some more deep pow in the night. The overcast sky reflected the city lights so there was enough light to see even without headlamps. MT, please refrain from hating on our point and shoot flash setup.

We then worked our way around the hill, to the face with the stairs, but the pitches were interrupted by those annoying fences, and the snow was a little too punchy (some faceted snow under the blower) for my narrow race skis, as well as not steep enough to rip in the deep snow. Steve aired off the wooden fence

We found awesome snow in some cutlines just east of the stairs. There was a nice base, and we quickly shralped the steep narrow chute.

We headed back to the face towards the creek and cleaned out the bottomless snow.

A bit of a scare as I crashed and one of my skis submarined, but we were able to find it.

Steve was actually serious when he said that this was the deepest snow that he had ever skied on his Megawatts! Deeper than this, this, or this? We were trying to classify this style of skiing. Not backcountry, but BACKyardCOUNTRY!

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