After many years of proposing this chalet, I finally convinced my team to take a trip north,
up to Smithers, and to the famous Burnie Glacier Chalet. This trip included the entire
Lewinsohn clan (Dave, Rebecca, Maya, and Daniel - no Debbie), Keith and Oliver Matthews,
me, Mike B, Dicky, and an add-on from Montreal, Francois. Big thanks to our two exceptional
guides Christophe and Neil, and to our incredible cook Monika.


Getting to the Lodge


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This trip stages out of Smithers, BC, a city I had never been to. It's pretty far north, although apparently
only half-way to the Yukon, which is nuts. It sits on the CN rail line, which is also the Via line up north. I took
this photo out front of the very-cool Trackside Cantina since I thought it puts it into perspective where this place is.


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We walked down to breakfast on our heli transfer day to Louise's Kitchen, which was stellar. This is the symbol
of Smithers (a dude with an Alpenhorn), which I thought was fun.


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The good folks at Silver King Helicopters shuttled us up the ~20 min ride to Burnie Glacier Chalet. I wound up
joining Tlel and Neil for a bumpy ride up a logging road to get closer to the lodge and save a bit of heli fuel.


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Here's Jacob our pilot and Neil in a decent snow/rain mix.


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Coming into the lodge.


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The Burnie Glacier Chalet with my spare skis (BD Aspects) in the snow.


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Another look at the lodge and a bit of the area.

After completing the transfer and getting acquainted with the lodge, we went for a short ski up the
glacier to do our avalanche practice. See the Garmin Connect track here


Day 2 - Solitaire Ski Peak


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Day 2 had us going up the Solitaire to gain the Solitaire Ski Peak. Here is Maya at Breakfast Rock, a
common waypoint in our travels this week.


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Daniel, also at Breakfast Rock.


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A new skier to our team this year was Francois from Montreal.


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We didn't really get much of a look around the area due to storm and wind, but we could see the big
rock towers and use those for guidance.


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Coming up on the Solitaire glacier.


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Daniel on the Solitaire Ski Peak with a cool piece of rock behind him.


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Me on the Solitaire Ski Peak. I think this is the Stinkhorn behind me - cool name.


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There was a small section getting up to this peak that had some light scrambling involved.


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Down to the right of this summit is 'terminal air', or about 600m off the cliff.


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Dave L near the summit of the Solitaire Ski Peak.


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Maya down-climbing the crux on this route.


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Dave L down-climbing the crux. Day 2 data is HERE .


Day 3 - Loft Peak


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Our third day, we took a tour over to Loft Peak. In order to avoid dropping elevation just to pick up more
elevation, Christophe led us through a trail he had cut in the forest through some pretty huge sub-alpine fir trees.
Here's Daniel on the trail.


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After climbing up one of the more 'ski-mountaineery' uptracks through the Knob of Never-Ending Love,
we wound up on the Loft Glacier. Here is Rebecca as we're regrouping before climbing up the glacier further.


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Francois, on the uptrack.


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The ridge off of Lakehead Peak looked pretty cool and had nice cornice growth.


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Francois again on the uptrack, looking back down towards Upper Burnie Lake.


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It basically snowed almost the entire time we were at Burnie Glacier, and this day was no exception. More
snow was great for skiing, but less good for photos. Francois with Lakehead Peak.


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Rebecca and Dave on the summit of Loft Peak.


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Maya, looking back at Lakehead Peak, from Loft Peak. Elevation 2223m.


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Oliver and Keith taking a breather after an epic lap on Loft Peak.


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Dave, Maya, and Daniel, before going up for another lap.

Video of Dave skiing off Loft Peak



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A super sweet photo of Mike skiing Loft Peak. Photo credit to Christophe.


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At the bottom of Loft Peak was some more challenging bush-whacking to get down to the lake level.
I didn't totally capture it, but Maya found it a bit more than challenging.


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A look up Loft Glacier from the Upper Burnie Lake.

Track for day 3 HERE


Day 4 - Middle Solitaire


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Day 4 we went back up the Solitaire, this time trying to gain the Middle Solitaire glacier, and then possibly
a couloir at the top. Here's a small look at the side of the Burnie Glacier, which we saw for the first time
on this day.


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The uptracks in this area tend to be a bit steeper just to get out of some of the moraines. This took a bit of
a toll on Oliver, as he's resting here on a short water/food break.


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Christophe is one of the more interesting guides I've skied with. I really enjoyed his stories,
his knowledge of history, geography, and alpinism, along with some good jokes.


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We had a brief moment of clarity and could see below to the Burnie Glacier.


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Uptracking with the Burnie Glacier slightly visible.


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Heading up to the Solitaire.


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Daniel and the Burnie Step.


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Rebecca and a really cool piece of glacier ice.


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A neat bit of rock as we're entering the Middle Solitaire amphitheatre.


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This wind scoop was really neat and super deep.

Video of the area



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A cool couloir that, if it didn't have huge wind scoop at the bottom, would ski well.


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Christophe had a look up this couloir, but decided against skiing it.


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Oliver with Christophe looking around.

A track of day 4 up the Solitaire HERE


Day 5 - Skiing Powder in the Storm on Tom George


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Day 5 saw us take in ~25 cm of fresh snow, so we kept it pretty local and toured around mostly on
Tom George Mountain. Here you can see some sluffing towards the bottom of the valley with
Oliver and Mike looking for an exit.


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It's kind of too bad this isn't more visible since it shows Oliver hucking some air off a bump.

Summary of Day 5: HERE .


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When we got back to the lodge, I was pretty gassed and so Neil and I found lawn chairs and
hung out for awhile. This is Neil trying to sort out the 'extremely brilliant German engineering'
per Christophe.


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Yeah, we clearly didn't figure it out - photo courtesy of Christophe.


Day 6 - Middle Solitaire try 2


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Day 6 woke us to the nicest weather we had seen on this trip. Christophe and Neil decided we should give the
Middle Solitaire another look. This is Hut Peak above us.

Here's a video of the area from the lodge



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A look up to the Solitaires.


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You can see a bit of where we're heading here, with the ants all marching 1 by 1.


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Neil putting in an uptrack below Windscoop Rock.


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Daniel hanging out having a break.


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Looking at the North side of Tom George which we wound wind up skiing the next day.


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Daniel on the uptrack.


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Rebecca on the uptrack with Windscoop Rock above her.


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Uptracking on the Solitaire. Photo credit to Christophe.


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Christophe tried to take another look at the couloir that would have been awesome. With some wind loading
and instability (and a size 1.5 release), we decided to continue back down the slope without going higher.
Note Christophe's position above the release, along with all of us safely poked away.


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At the bottom of our run, we wound up very close, and then later on top of, the Burnie Glacier. Here
is Daniel with some sweet glacier near him.


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Daniel managed a crash where his skis went over his head, and somehow managed to accidentally engage his
Mammut Snowpulse airbag. Here he is skiing away from the incident.


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A better shot. I really wish I would have video'd it!

Video of Oliver jumping a wind lip



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The lower section of the Burnie Glacier.


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Skiing down onto the Burnie.


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Daniel and some cool glacier ice. This looks up the Polemic Glacier above us.


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Rebecca and some cool ice formations on the glacier.


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Oliver exiting the toe of the Burnie Glacier. I thought this was a REALLY cool way to exit our route
for the day - thanks to Christophe for a great run suggestion. It felt kind of like the Vallee Blanche
coming down this exit. GPS track is HERE .


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As can be expected with two engineers and someone working in health care, we were drinking beer while
Dicky and Daniel were shoveling out a ramp. That's some good supervising folks!


Day 7 - The best plan B I've ever seen


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Our last full day, day 7, saw us put an attempt on climbing the Burnie Step. Here's Christophe
putting in an uptrack along the moraine and you can just see the Step way up to his left.


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A really cool look at the ice fall around the step and Christophe's uptrack. This was about the only
ski day we had with blue sky, but I'll always take snow over blue skies!


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Looking around the Polemic Glacier above us as we decide to turn around.

Video around the Burnie Step



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After coming down to a lunch break, here's Mike having lunch on the tracks. He looks so serious here
you almost wouldn't know he's a really funny dude.


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A much cooler photo of Mike looking at the Polemic Glacier from the ridge top of Tom George Mountain.


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Thanks to Mike for taking this shot of me looking at the Polemic and the Burnie Glaciers, along
with Hut Peak.


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A cool shot of Dave and Maya on the skin track looking back at the Polemic Glacier and Hut Peak.


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This run on the north side of Tom George was really special. Not just for Daniel blowing his ski out
and having Dave chase it down the mountain only to tackle it just before it launched into a ravine.
It was also absolutely glorious powder and perfect light. Not bad for a plan B!


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Oliver, Maya, and I think me on Tom George. Photo credit to Christophe.


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The lower section of this run was super fun.


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Dave looking down the Telkwa Valley.


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Our uptrack back up Tom George Mountain. You can see some of the huge cornices on the summit.


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We went back up all the way to the summit of Tom George, which I thought gave a really cool look
up the Burnie Glacier, along with up to the Solitaires too.


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A bit blurry shot of me on the summit of Tom George Mountain, mostly due to my inability to
wipe off sweat from the lens.


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Dave and his kids on the summit of Tom George Mountain. Daniel is left, Maya in front, and Rebecca
to the right.


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Christophe's shot of his turns down the north side of Tom George Summit run. He said he's skied this exactly once
this year, and it was his last run of the season. Thanks Christophe!


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This may be one of the best runs I've done in my life. We dropped off the summit of Tom George Mountain
to the north and into this glorious bowl. You can't quite see the previous run to the far right of this shot.

Video of Francois in the bowl


Video of Maya in the bowl


Video of Dave L in the bowl



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Daniel looking back up at a super sweet run that he skied well.


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A look at Dave L with the huge cornice above him. Yikes!


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The second half of this run was a glorious steep tree run. You can see our tracks in the left of this shot.


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You can see both sets of tracks from our two runs in this area. Just wow.

Our last GPS track where we stretched out legs out a bit on day 8 is HERE .

Thanks again to Christophe and Neil for keeping us safe, to Monika for keeping us happy and fed,
and to my ski team for the good times once again!

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