After ascending The Purple Mound, Wietse and I set our sights on Lipalian Mountain while Dave, Kev and Bill headed back to get a head start on refreshments at Temple Lodge.
The traverse to Lipalian Mountain from the Purple Mound was straightforward and relatively safe. Avoiding obvious (massive) cornices, we worked our way to the summit ridge and managed to ski right to the summit. Stunning views of Mount Temple and the other giant peaks around Lake Louise greeted us. The wind also picked up considerably and after snapping some quick photos we headed back down to the Purple / Lipalian col.
[Wietse follows me down from Purple Mound.]
[Looking up from the col to Lipalian's summit on the L.]
[Wietse follows with Purple now lower in the background.]
[Wietse comes up to the summit ridge. Richardson, Pika and Ptarmigan (L to R) in the background, now free of clouds.]
[Pano over Purple Mound to the east. ++]
[Looking over The Purple Mound from the summit of Lipalian. Unity on the L with St. Bride and Douglas looming in the background.]
[Looking over at Richardson, Pika and Ptarmigan (L to R).]
[Mount Hector is almost cloud-free now.]
[Vern on the summit of Lipalian.]
[The always-impressive Mount Temple with Little Temple in front and Mounts Victoria, Lefroy and Aberdeen in the picture.]
[The Valley of Ten Peaks to the L of Mount Temple, with the Lake Louise group on the R. ++]
[A wider pano, showing the entire Castle Mountain massif, hwy 1 corridor and Lake Louise Peaks and a raven. ++]
[Coming back down from Lipalian.]
[Wietse comes back down to the col. ++]
At the col we decided conditions were safe enough to short cut the re-ascent to Purple and we skied down to the Wolverine / Purple col on sun-baked crust, the skiing wasn't quite as good as it would have been in cooler / less sunny conditions. We noticed that the others hadn't bothered with Wolverine Ridge and figured it was due to the deteriorating snow pack. Instead, we followed our ascent tracks back out to the ski hill, on pretty sloppy snow the whole way.
[Getting ready to traverse down to the Purple / Wolverine col.]
[Looking back at our tracks from Purple Mound.]
[I'll be back to ski Wolverine Ridge.]
[Ready to exit Purple Bowl, back into trees to the Boulder Pass trail.]
[A great ending to a great spring ski touring day at Temple Lodge!]
A nice ending to the day was some refreshments at the Temple Lodge which resembled a beach more than a ski lodge in the warm spring sun! The run back down the ski out was kind of crappy, with slushy snow grabbing our skis at the most inopportune moments (just when we needed speed to coast the flat sections). Overall the day was a great spring ski trip. Highly recommended with lots of variation. I'll be going back for Unity and Wolverine Ridge for sure.