It was with a bit of trepidation I called this trip reading the avalanche reports for the last week and not having skied in the Alberta Rockies. Fortunately it turned out great for me (and I think others) and was, I think, very safe.
We left I think a little after 8:30 am up the hard packed Healy pass trail one thing of note, for followers of SkierRoger.ca, is we had a sighting of the "Little B's" at the campground.
The Little B's
The Little B's were out for an extended adventure on the Healy-Redearth loop. I can confirm the Little B's are very friendly, do not hog the track and appear to be taking good care of Mike.
We did debate going up to Bourgeau Meadows via the creek from the campground. We knew a trail had been in there 3 weeks ago but there was no sign of it on this day.
In the end we opted for the safer approach higher up the Healy pass trail. With the aid of John's renowned GPS skills and Ulli's trail breaking we were soon above treeline at the top of a totally untracked slope.
Over the next couple of hours I (and I think others) enjoyed helping to make a mess of this slope, not steep, but definitely nice silky skiing for turns. I think the photos tell the story:
The Monarch and its Ramparts
John having fun (I think)
Guest Jeff on a splitboard.
Rainer gets some air! Jeff on his board also got some air off this lip!
Kim having fun (Ithink!)
Slope we skied 3-4 laps on - very nice and silky smooth!
Gary showing his usual nice tele style
We did have a break for lunch and I managed to get the group to pause before heading for another run for a group shot:
Lunch spot Bourgeau meadowsRainer, Gary, Ulrike, John, Jeff, Sim, Clifton and Kim
On our ascent of the usual exit we use on this one (there were two down tracks on this route) we had noted a variable sun crust. The other challenge on that route was the crust was variable (in the shade of trees it was not there).
So we decided on an alternate exit on a gentle open slope that took us to more or less where the Healy pass trail breaks out of the trees.
Gentle exit from Bourgeau meadows we chose to avoid variable suncrust on the alternative.
Then the luge run on the Healy pass trail. My guest Jeff, on a split board, really enjoyed the luge run but I realise now there are quite a few annoying little uphills for a split boarder on the Healy pass trail (of note John has the secret for this stuff).
The speedy folks were probably back at the trailhead well before 4:00 pm but I think we all made it before 4:00 pm.
Thanks Ulli and John for the photos - I have uploaded them but need to update you as owner which is on my "todo" list! Thanks to the great group of: Sim,Kim,John,Clifton,Ulrike,Rainer,Gary,guest
Jeff Lipkewich who let this BC westcoaster John share a beautiful ski day in the Rockies (the skiing was good but the scenery is also nice up there).