A big snowpack means good spring touring

G3 team member Melanie Bernier sets out of a big spring objective this week. Here's her report on what's involved in planning for a three-week ski tour: 

As spring rolls and the days get longer, people are often tempted to leave skiing behind and start thinking about summer sports.

However, with the amazing amount of snow we received this winter, places like Revelstoke allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds with some amazing skiing and a bit of riding. I think this year it’s worth extending the ski season a bit longer to appreciate the amazing snow quality for this time of the year and the great coverage.

Back in December, my friend Justin and myself hatched the idea of a long ski traverse in the spring. After a long winter of ski patrolling for Justin and a busy season of racing for me, planning a nice ski trip to top it off seemed like a great idea.  We started to seriously put the plans together just before I left for a ski trip in Europe in February and, as soon as a got back in March, we met once a week to recruit the rest of the crew, plan the gear, plan the food and, most importantly, plan the route and objectives.

Our minds got focused on the southern part of the Divide Traverse between the Columbia Icefield and the Wapta. That was the first step, but then we started to throw ideas around about what peaks in the area we would like to climb and where we wanted to spend more time. Everything came together really quickly, but of course in the end weather will dictate exactly what we'll be able to accomplish.

Here are some trip stats:

  • Group: 5 skiers (2 girls, 3 guys)
  • Duration: Between 15-18 days
  • Main objectives: Mt Columbia, Lyell’s, Mt Forbes and summits around the Freshfield Icefield
  • Food: 2 Caches previously dropped (with lots of goodies and treats)
  • Crux: Alexandra Glacier & rappel to Mons Glacier

But it's not all route planning … we had a week of baking, cooking, dehydrating food, multiple grocery shopping missions, an expensive visit to Costco, gear shopping, last minute adds on. It felt like the day would never come!

But planning is part of the deal. Now we're off, and look for trip report upon our return. Melanie's touring gear list: 

  • Skis: Saints 177cm
  • Bindings: Ruby
  • Shovel: AviTech
  • Skins: Alpinist
  • Probe: Carbon Speed Pro
  • Bonesaw

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