Season Funk Remedy - Canoe to Ski
Coming back from a busy racing season in Europe and beyond, I flew back to the Maple Leaf country (Canada, that is) after 2 really draining stage races. I had an amazing race season and I am grateful for all the new mountains skied, the new friendships formed and emotions shared. After such hype, I always find myself in some sort of post-race funk. But this year would be different I thought to myself. Yes, returning to weekend warrior life poses a bit of a schedule challenge, but I am far from being ready to “hang the skis” for the summer. Getting after some ski mountaineering objectives on the life long check-list has been the focus and will be until there’s no more snow to be found!
First on the list was the classic “Forever Young” couloir in the Asulkan Valley. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at the line and went up that same valley but never had the chance to ski it. On a rainy April morning in Revelstoke, we drove to Rogers Pass to find the couloir in AMAZING deep powder conditions. Being a Birthday celebration for Andrew, how appropriate to ski a line that says it all… and just before the ski down, the sun come out!
Forever Young: Check
Here's Andrew's birthday video. Pardon his knee shots.
When biking the famous Keystone Standard Basin Trail in the summer, I always had dreams to go across the river and ski Frenchman’s cap. It’s a bit of a mission but that’s what spring is for right?! After a long day at work, we drove North of town and had the boat in the water by 6:30pm. After a quick paddle facing the wind, we reached the shore and threw on our skis and large packs.
A short walk later, we set up camp to get a few hours of rest. 5am and up we were getting ready for a 25 kms day. Early morning, the valley floor was frozen enough to allow for fast travel for the first 4 km. We then got into the steeper zone, where the sight of our objective was feeding our steps up the 1600m climb before reaching a flat glacier. From there, we saw a couloir on Mt Levers that needed to be skied.
Supportive, sustain primo couloir! We kept going to Frenchman’s Cap with large smiles. From the col, we skied one of the most amazing and continuously steep lines I have ever had the chance to ski. The snow conditions were more than perfect and we even got to ski some corn in the end. What a day.
The valley slog was better then anticipated, but by far one of the best ways to finish such a fabulous adventure was to row across the calm lake just before sunset.
Frenchman’s Cap couloir: Check!Levers never skied couloir: Check!
What’s next?! Trip in the Rockies coming up and another life-long dream trip early May. So far Race Season Funk no more!