Restless after a month of non-stop pow slaying, a handful of Park City’s seasonally-unemployed worker bees pointed rooftop ski racks north towards Canada.
Eager for the sporting adventures of a cold, shallow, and weak snowpack we booked accommodations in Alberta with the Alpine Cult of Canada
The victims were a mix of a few marginally skilled alpinists in with a handful of glacial-travel tenderfoots. Having ascended to Utah treetops using prussics and winched patio furniture around with minitraxions we were all on the same page, more or less.
Onward, to the Wapta Icefield Traverse
Food-stressing before even leaving the car, one team member began gnawing on a brick of Milk Dud. God help us all.
Peyto Lake. Surprisingly tricky to find, for a big ass lake.
Over the moraine and onto the glacier. And roped up to ease fears of being swallowed by the ice.
Mayhem as the choice bunk spots are snapped up. Spirits were high, with eight people and eight liters of wine and whiskey.
Apres ski runs with light packs down the glacier.
Leaving Peyto Hut.
Sheets of dumb stickers had inexplicably found their way onto the icefield. First appearing on compasses, lens hoods, and glasses cases they soon began to colonize unguarded research instruments as well.
Breezy on Vulture Col
…and down the far side
Arriving at Balfour Hut.
Headed towards Balfour High Col in the upper right
Roping up for crossing the crevassed glacier between icefalls just below the col. Our good visibility went to zip as we passed through the crux of the traverse but reappeared one hour and 5cm later.
One yellow jacket away from attaining ROYGBV on the BC/AB border
Ain’t nothing to see
Ain’t nothing in sight
Into the white
Inside the ping-pong ball
Scott Duncan hut is perched between cliff bands in the murk.
Blue sky between the convective storms allowed for laps behind the hut. Look closely and it’s visible at the base of the ridge.
North facing fun
Leaving the Duncan Hut, I was still pouting about not having takers for a dawn patrol lap up Daly.
The headwall above the Bath Glacier is seriously cool.
I suggested we stop to ski the 1000′ mini bowl but no takers. Tough crowd.
For the final 3000′ down to the car most of the group chose a talus walk to a nice steep field of corn.
The other option was longer, steeper but not the “fall-you-die” line someone asserted it was. More like “fall-you-cry”.
Sweartogod, if you stomp my bare feet with those boots while can-can’ing I will be seriously dismayed. But after nothing but whiskey and wine for four long days, this beer sure tastes good. Hurrah!