Words By: Simon Coward
Report and images by Simon Coward
Video: Phil Price
First up, Happy Holidays everyone. Ma nature has been dishing up amazing riding conditions here in the rockies, I am sure most of us are more than happy with that as a Christmas present.
Watching the conditions the past week or so and looking at the green ‘brick’ of LOW, LOW, LOW hazard, it had me pretty inspired to get on a line on 93 South I have been trying to ride for 5 or 6 years now. As the days lead up to our Tuesday outing, the wind came up, cornices started to fail and some beta I got from guide friends that gave me second thoughts on the line, plus we were only a group of two, so, that beauty of a line will wait until another time.
Witht hat in mind, Phil and I headed to the icefields parkway with a couple of objectives in mind, get up high, ride some pow and enjoy a beautiful pre-Christmas mission to help justify the overeating that is bound to prevail in the coming days.
Photos: Tracks and scenes from the day
We headed to the east side of the highway with some S and SW facing slopes in the alpine and at treeline in mind, and as the theme of the season goes Phil and I were treated to an amazing day in the hills. The -24 temps at the start of the day and witnessing a car do a full speed 360 into the snow bank (quite close to a pedestrian) was a bit of a daunting start to the day, but from there on you couldn’t have asked for better.
During our day Phil and I managed 2 runs from high alpine to nearly valley bottom, did just shy of 5000ft of vert, and every foot of it was a variation of awesomeness. From alpine open cruising to pow shredding on sheltered corniced ridges and then the lower elevation stuff was as good as it gets.
Video: A quick clip from the final pitch of the day (stoke levels very apparent if played with sound.. ha ha)
Photo: On the way up with Mosquito Mountain in the background
Photo: A shred with a view
Gallery: An "as good as it gets" day in the hills
It is so good out there right now, I really hope everyone gets out for a hoon over the holiday period.
Merry Christmas everyone and here’s to a fun, safe and stoked filled holiday season
From the avy forecast it looks like the next few days are looking good, still check in on the avy forecast before you head out. Check avalanche.ca for up to date hazard report and current Banff, Kootenay and Yoho details on Facebook here.