Assorted Spring Sweets – Ha Ling bowl, Silverhorn/Mt Athabasca, Wapta Traverse

I should have actually published this when it was written, but I could not work out how to upload more than one photo at once, and gave up in disgust. here it is:
“To be perfectly honest; I have mainly been working, fishing or rock climbing for April/may 2014.  What I have got out on has generally not been particularly noteworthy, but it’s been pleasant and I have been uplifted by spending time in some beautiful places. Here are a few pictures I’d like to share.”

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I had the great opportunity to join a few local ripping groms and the fun crew at Sherpas Cinema for an upcoming travel alberta promotion. Shooting with the Cineplex heli at Louise.  No pressure!

I had the great opportunity to join a few local ripping groms and the fun crew at Sherpas Cinema for an upcoming travel alberta promotion. Shooting with the Cineplex heli at Louise. No pressure!

silverhorn, mt Andromeda, may 7

silverhorn, mt Andromeda, may 7

the drive home on the 93 S was pretty much the highlight of the day. where else is a drive this good?

the drive home on the 93 S was pretty much the highlight of the day. where else is a drive this good?

one of the most scenic roads I've seen.  going home content and tired to begin full-time summer work the next day! I couldn't believe I was going to work in May... gorby...

one of the most scenic roads I’ve seen. going home content and tired to begin full-time summer work the next day! I couldn’t believe I was going to work in May… gorby…

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very thin windslab and unconsolidated pow on ice, but we got some squiggles in to the West

the silverhorn was a no-go for skiing due to the

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Rory Camm tele

Rory Camm tele

Rory camm

Rory camm

kiwi backwoods legend Rory, silverhorn is the rib in background.

kiwi backwoods legend Rory, silverhorn is the rib in background.

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unfortunately we were forced to simul climb due to thin windslab on ice, and lack of full ice climbing equipment for two. not great with a 30m rope and 4 screws.

unfortunately we were forced to simul climb due to thin windslab on ice, and lack of full ice climbing equipment for two. not great with a 30m rope and 4 screws.

slept in the back of that beastie the night prior.  room to stretch out and then some!

slept in the back of that beastie the night prior. room to stretch out and then some!

ha ling bowl centrepuched ( track visible near top). I found (to my surprise) a choke bypass by hiking up from choke and traversing to gully , top of which is visible somewhere roughly fall line under lookers right side of tree island. second gully along I remember. then short traverse on scree back to underneath choke.  no rope needed. some tricky little bluffs in the drainage below treeline had me rushing though, I had a job interview at 9am!  Early May.  I had thought this was not to be the season; a terrible avalanche year, a thin snowpack region of the famously weak Rockies snowpack (above the town of Canmore), on rockslab, massively convex 50m under the top,  no safe islands, no good cornice for slope testing, and exposure to cliffs underneath. An obvious killer.   then came a large rain event and natural cycle, followed by 60-100cm of Easterly snow, then a bit of solar, followed by relatively cool temps.  The snowpack got a good flush and test, and a nice solid bridging layer; after letting it settle for a while I was stoked to get done with the line that nags me every day from my bedroom.  It was a great fast run. Adam from Canmore (now Banff) says it was probably skied back in the day (80's / 90') but probably not for some time; he also said it has a history of small but full depth slab avalanches.

ha ling bowl centrepuched ( track visible near top). I found (to my surprise) a choke bypass by hiking up from choke and traversing to gully , top of which is visible somewhere roughly fall line under lookers right side of tree island. second gully along I remember. then short traverse on scree back to underneath choke. no rope needed. some tricky little bluffs in the drainage below treeline had me rushing though, I had a job interview at 9am! Early May. I had thought this was not to be the season; a terrible avalanche year, a thin snowpack region of the famously weak Rockies snowpack (above the town of Canmore), on rockslab, massively convex 50m under the top, no safe islands, no good cornice for slope testing, and exposure to cliffs underneath. An obvious killer. then came a large rain event and natural cycle, followed by 60-100cm of Easterly snow, then a bit of solar, followed by relatively cool temps. The snowpack got a good flush and test, and a nice solid bridging layer; after letting it settle for a while I was stoked to get done with the line that nags me every day from my bedroom. It was a great fast run. Adam from Canmore (now Banff) says it was probably skied back in the day (80’s / 90′) but probably not for some time; he also said it has a history of small but full depth slab avalanches.

I loved this evening, all to myself in the most beautiful location I've seen in the Rockies.

I loved this evening, all to myself in the most beautiful location I’ve seen in the Rockies.

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shortly prior we skied the visible V gully on lookers right.  Cathedral Crags.

shortly prior we skied the visible V gully on lookers right. Cathedral Crags.

Nile, which I snowboarded on day 2 before exiting the wapta.  It was a great (fast!) powder run. Nice to end up on it on a whim, after Ali Hogg pointed in out as a pretty run while touring in the valley a month before.

Nile, which I snowboarded on day 2 before exiting the wapta. It was a great (fast!) powder run. Nice to end up on it on a whim, after Ali Hogg pointed in out as a pretty run while touring in the valley a month before.

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looking back over the Waptutik icefield, which I'd navigated across inside a cloud that morning.

looking back over the Waptutik icefield, which I’d navigated across inside a cloud that morning.

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most extensive (but thin) ice of the season smeared on everywhere, looked more like NZ

most extensive (but thin) ice of the season smeared on everywhere, looked more like NZ

I had the fortune of the icefield to myself.  at the tail end of the seasons largest Easterly system though, this meant breaking trail in ski mode on the glacial downs as well as they ups!

I had the fortune of the icefield to myself. at the tail end of the seasons largest Easterly system though, this meant breaking trail in ski mode on the glacial downs as well as they ups!

uplifting evening soaking in the sun at Balfour Hut.

uplifting evening soaking in the sun at Balfour Hut.

crossing bow lake on a 2 day Wapta traverse.

crossing bow lake on a 2 day Wapta traverse.

Seb boulton oliver. April.

Seb boulton oliver. April.

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on the continental divide, viewing BC.

on the continental divide, viewing BC.

ha ling bowl

ha ling bowl

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matt decarufel

matt decarufel

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About ruari

a lover of the beauty of the mountains, coast and other wild open spaces. An adventurer and high-level snowboard freerider / snowboard mountaineer
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