After a hiatus from the mountains due to motivation issues and cold weather, I decided to return for an easy outing up Wolverine Ridge with a group of friends on Saturday, January 14th. I knew it would be a ridiculously short day, but what the heck! Sometimes all you need is a short break to get the mojo back.
On Sunday, January 24, 2016 I was joined by Mike Mitchell for a long ski tour up Unity Peak in the Skoki region of Banff National Park near Lake Louise. Due to a 'considerable' avalanche rating, specifically around ridges and wind loaded, faceted slopes, we had to be very choosey with our choice of ski tour.
Despite a very chilly forecast, Wietse, Bill and I decided that we'd brave the -20 degree temps near Sunshine Village in Banff National Park to give the Monarch Ramparts a go on our skis. Wietse and I had been up Healy Pass Peak almost exactly 2 years previous and at that time we'd gone up the north end of the Monarch Ramparts, but not far enough to claim the summit which lies towards its south end.
Chickadee Peak has been on my radar ever since seeing Raf's trip report on it. Back when Wietse and I did Boom Mountain, I remember looking at all the skiable terrain further up the Chickadee Valley and wondering if there were any other peaks we could ski in the area. Well, it turns out that there is!
Lookout Mountain is a no-brainer for peak baggers doing the Youngs Peak Traverse in Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park. It is actually lower than the Illecillewaet Glacier, which you'll be traversing past the peak on your way to Youngs Peak anyway. The views from the peak are excellent and well worth the 30 minute side trip.
A fun, quick trip into Chester Lake and above the Elephant rocks when the skiing wasn't looking too good or too safe anywhere else.
On December 24th, Jason Wilcox and I decided that it was time to give Alpine Ski Touring a try. What better place than the famous Burstall Pass deep in the heart of Kananaskis country and about the only place with enough snow left after days of extremely warm weather?
Adventure. Adventure is essentially planning something and then finding out while doing it that plans are only the faintest and fickle of guides. Plans only shape the adventure they do not define it. The adventure defines you, and what you do with it defines your life and the experience you have in it.