Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ski Trip - A kind of epic day

My close friends give me a pretty hard time about being tired the day after shooting a wedding. They think its a pretty cushy job and well its definitely not as tough digging ditches, it does take its toll on your body (feel free to laugh at me, I can take it).

My plan for last Sunday was to go for a nice easy, post wedding, ski tour in the Kanaskis. The forecast was for sun and warm temps so I talked our friends Jo and Karl into joining me. I had sold them on the French-Haig loop, a 20km tour in the Peter Lougheed that typically follows a route up the French Creek, across the top of the Haig Glacier and then through a tiny little col below Mt. Sir Douglas onto the Robertson Glacier. From the col you are usually rewarded with a 2000 ft run down to the Burstal Pass Trail. To make a long story short, it turned out to be a mini-epic, with high winds and quite possibly the worst skiing conditions I have ever seen. We finished the day with head lamps, 7 hours after we started.

French Creek

Starting up the French Glacier. The snow pack is looking a bit suspicious.

We ended up having to take our skis off and kick steps because the snow was so hard that the climbing skins on the bottom of our skis wouldn't stick. Shortly after I took this photo, Jo's sunglasses fell off her head and we watched them slowly slide down the hill out of sight. There is definitely a point where you decide its not worth the effort to go backwards for a pair of $20 MEC sunglasses. Jo said they fogged up anyways, so no loss.

At the top of the French Glacier, looking back down the valley we came up.

This is where you usually have a great view to the south of the Northover Ridge and the Palliser River Valley in B.C. Jo and Karl had to take my word for it.

Coming up the steep slope to the Haig-Roberston col.

Normally I would post a shot of a skier coming down in nice powder, but the snow was so bad I didn't even bother taking a camera out. I met an Irish guy on the way out who had been at Burstall Pass and he said it best. He referred to the snow as "shite".

1 comment:

Spoke said...

I agree. After a wedding or any other shoot, I'm knackered! I find I hold my breath as I shoot. I'm winded after a long 9 hour wedding day/evening!