On Saturday, December 14 2013 Wietse and I continued a tradition of going to the Healy Pass area one week prior to a hut ski trip. A year previous we also skied the pass on a grey and unassuming day and this day wouldn't be much different.
The snow conditions were a bit thin down low, but once we worked our way to the lower pass meadows there was quite a bit of snow. It was unconsolidated sugar and our poles pushed 1.5 meters to ground when we went off trail! We were passed by a solo skier just before the meadows and he broke trail exactly in the right direction for us. We wanted to bag an official summit just north of the pass and I broke trail from the top of the ridge to the base of the first (false) summit. From here we ditched the skies and walked up on foot.
It was windy and cool once we got near the summit so our stay was brief. One day I'd love to be up here on a sunny, clear, warm day for the views. Our descent was quick. It took 4 hours to reach the summit and less than 1.5 hours to get back to the car. The Healy Pass ski trip is fun and safe for a quick day trip. It's a great thing to do when you're not sure what else is safe or worthwhile.
[The snow started piling up nearer to the meadows.]
[Don't let the fresh pow fool you though - it's very unconsolidated underneath.]
[Still some larch needles on the trees as we turn up towards the pass.]
[Wietse follows up the ridge. ++]
[It's not looking like we're going to be able to ski to the summit or have any views again.]
[Wietse plods up scree and boulders to the summit.]
[More dismal views.]
[No matter the view - you always feel rather small up here.]
[Getting closer to the summit - looking over the pass. ++]
[This is the highest point.]
[Vern on the summit of Healy Pass Peak - no register that we could find.]
[Looking at the meadows east of the pass. ++]
[Looking west of the pass to the Egypt Lakes area. ++]
[Skiing back down - the pass is to the right here. ++]
[The Ramparts above Healy Pass.]