For the first time in months, it seemed, the clouds cleared in Whistler and the sun came out. It was forecast to stay out for a few days, so Rob and I took the rare opportunity to go back country touring and camping.
We headed out from the back side of Blackcomb Mountain on what is the first leg of the “Spearhead Traverse” – a three day, two night ski tour from Blackcomb Mt to Whistler Mt. We were not intending to do the whole traverse, just a quick tour out to Mt Trorey.
Within 30 minutes or so we had left the mayhem and crowds of the in-bounds Whistler Blackcomb ski area and were in the back country. It never ceases to amaze me just how large the mountain area is, compared to the area that we ski – you reach the top of the ridge, look out and see layer upon layer of little-touched mountains. I say ‘little-touched’ as this is a well traveled ski tour route and there were probably 50 – 80 people out there. Still, that leaves a lot of space and untouched snow for us.
After traversing a little, we headed up the already well trodden ski tour track to the top of Mt Trorey (2,600m). It took us about an hour. The sun was out and warm, although there certainly was a chill in the air. Rob built his now famous snow fort that would act as our kitchen and living room for the night while I dug out a level area for our tent. From experience, this time I took the time to level out the snow pad by jumping up and down on it with my skis.
As the sun went down, the temperature dropped and the wind came up. The sunset was pretty and the stars too. We knew it would be an almost full moon but by 10pm it had still not materialized and I was too cold to wait any longer. The wind was getting stronger and stronger and at times during the night we thought that the tent was trying to take off. Not a great night’s sleep was had! In the morning, after most of our stuff was out of the tent it actually did take off! Thankfully I had tethered it fairly well so we didn’t have to chase it all over the mountains.
A beautiful, tiring experience and I wouldn’t have missed a moment of it. Enjoy the photos!