Ski mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies

Now is the high season for ski mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies. Andy Paul and I enjoyed fabulous conditions when we climbed Mt. Field today. The picture was taken from the summit by Andy; that’s the Trans-Canada Highway 1300 m below. The run of 1200 m of vertical from the summit to the Takakaw Falls road was wonderful — boot-top powder almost all the way. As usual, Andy set a “take no prisoners” pace (5:40 from car to car), leaving me in serious need a day off….

mountfield-6april2009

8 thoughts on “Ski mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies”

  1. At this time of year you’ve got to move fast in order to be off the steep bits before noon (solar time) when things start falling apart (cornices falling, snow getting heavy, etc.) It took us 4:15 to get from the car to the summit but the descent was really fast because 1200 of the 1300 m of vertical was on skis and the snow was in superb shape. In <30 minutes we were back down to the Takakkaw Falls road, and that included several rest stops to allow my burning thighs to recover! Then it was 4.5 km on a mostly flat and icy road back to the car; fast double-poling on alpine touring gear.

    1. I’ve crawled on my belly to spread my weight crossing sections of that road without sinking up to my neck in fresh powder! :good: And it took so long and so much effort that we never did get to the ice routes! :angry:

  2. I like the “take no prisoners” attitude, I think you need that level of determination to climb a mountain range link the rockies. I agree with Pete that is a really good time, proper fast. Not surprising Tish was on the erge of tears, you must have been exhausted.

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