Splitboarding Mt Thor & Hughes - Check!
Mouth watering trip report just in from G3 splitboarder Joey Vosburgh...
After a long stint of storm cycles and scary low elevation weak layers we saw our window of better conditions approaching. The stable weather with warm days and cold nights was upon us and promoting a stronger snowpack. A few ideas were rolling around about where to go and what to ski but we settled on heading into a hidden cabin in the Southern Monashees nestled up against the Gold Range. A perfect place for steep lines that none of us had skied before.
After a early morning rescue mission of my sled in Trout Lake (where I abandonned it the night before because of a trailer tire blowing) Mark Hartley and I were back on the Shelter Bay ferry to meet up with Greg Hill and Aaron Chance.
Big views of big mountains can be seen once on the plateau and the anticipation of what the next few days would bring was amounting. After a long ride into the "chalet" we quickly geared up for a recon on Mt. Thor, one of the mountains we came to climb. We played it conservative off the get go but after a few slope tests and observing the lack of recent activity our confidence began to build.
The next morning we were off to hit a Summit called Hughes, a new one for all of us. For the past 4 years I have been Google skiing a N.E line off the summit with hopes of one day hitting it. Once at Pingston Lake we kyboshed our original ascent route because of threatening cornices so we wrapped around to another potential route with less overhead danger, but more walking. 3-4 more hours of steep skinning, boot packing and following Wolverine tracks we found ourselves on the summit of Huhges! After a short summit celebration Greg tied into the sharp end and we belayed him out onto the corniced ridge. You know that text on your side view mirror? Google earth needs a similar disclaimer "Objects on Google earth may be much gnarlier than they appear on Google Earth."
Once we found the entrance it was game on. Steep and tight pow turns led to an icy spine section which finally lead into 3000' of perfectness! Thanks Hughes!
The next day we awoke with Mt.Thor in our cross hairs. It was a slog! After 4 hours or so we were at the col between the 2 peaks of Thor. A short 1000' descent put us at the base of Thor's N facing cooly. Surrounded by huge rock and steep slopes we skinned up into position for the bootpack up this 2000' behemoth. The entire bootpack up was threatened by a large bus sized cornice which had us in ITS crosshairs! Luckily the high pressure day brought a slight haze and cool winds which allowed us passage to the High Col of Mt Thor. With our skills and gear this was the highest we were going... about 100' below the summit! However, we were staring down one heck of a run and were itching to shred it.
The chute stayed consistently steep at 45- 50 degrees for the majority and slowly mellowed to our lunch spot from a couple hours before. A round of high fives and we were heading back to the first col and over to our last run of the day. Another 4000' run to valley bottom with one of the steepest glacial rolls I have ever skied! oh and it was boot top pow!!