R & D Summer Testing on the Kokanee Glacier

Shortly before heading off to Taiwan for some climbing and 'work', G3 Engineer Cam Shute managed to take advantage of pretty much the only precipitation BC has seen this month! Here's his update from another tough day at the office...

We seem to always need to test ski equipment in the summer/fall months and finding snow in September and October can be particularly difficult. Glacier’s are often bare or sun-cupped and icy, the south American ski season can often be unreliable and very spring-like, and the weather in Northern Canada and Alaska starts destabilizing causing logistical challenges.

 Last week I got really lucky. We had a cooler night, so a little bit of rain in the valley added up to about 4-6cm of snow above 2200m. Finding a ski partner was a little tough, as most folks (myself included) are focused on mountain biking or climbing or other logical summer activities, so when I put the word out that I was trying to go skiing I bumped up against several confused and questioning looks. I perservered, and managed to get Shaun King, an ACMG mountain guide and owner of Mountain Sense, to join me on a day on the Kokanee Glacier. Our objective was to slog up ~1100m or dirt and rock in hopes of being able to ski ~300m of ice and snow…not the best slog to ski ratio, but for this time in the season it could be worse. Due largely to the new snow, we enjoyed a smooth descent  (until the last 40m of mixed ice/dirt and snow) and had a nice tour back up to the keyhole where two ice cold beers were chilling in the Kokanee glacier. As much as they’d like you to believe it, Kokanee isn’t the beer out here;)

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