We won the lottery last spring, meaning our ski crew got to enjoy some of the world
class terrain at Fairy Meadows. This is in the Adamants Range of the Selkirk Mountains
north west of Golden, BC.


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The Fairy Meadows Hut, like most backcountry ski lodges, is helicopter access only. This is the
big bird, the Bell 212 coming into the Chatter Creek Heliport, where we stage.


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Dave's son Daniel made the trip this year, at almost a year younger than his sisters were when they joined
our crew. Daniel was very excited, although a bit nervous about keeping up.


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Here we are getting the safety talk on helicopters. As it turns out, this has been the single warmest
winter I can remember, so the staging area for the helicopter is basically brown and warm. Pretty
strange winter for sure.


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Due to our friend Paul L getting sick, Keith was able to invite his 13-year-old son Oliver. This was Oliver's
first time in a helicopter and he was pretty excited.


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This is some of the big terrain near the Fairy Meadows Hut. Big, big glaciers.


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A repeat of my previous comment. Just crazy big terrain here.


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Here we are coming in for a landing at our home for the next week.

View around Fairy Meadows Hut



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A look at the Fairy Meadows Hut.


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After getting our gear sorted and hauled up to the hut, we spent some time reviewing avalanche safety near
the hut. Then, we went out for a short tour around the moraines to check our legs and systems and make
sure everyone remembers how to ski.


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As the light began to run away on us, we got to the top of the moraine above the hut for a short ski.


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Natalia's cousin Darryl and his wife Zoe joined this trip. Here is Zoe at our first skin transition.

Day 1 - On the Granite Glacier


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Since the elevation band of decent snow, and the aspect range for decent snow was pretty narrow, we
decided to go for a tour up onto the Granite Glacier to get our bearings and see what we could find.
This is about an hour and a half above the hut, looking to the north towards the Rocky Mountains.


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Dave, Daniel, Zoe, and Darryl transitioning off their skins.


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My friend Dicky made the trip again this year. His laugh is infectious and he's one of my favourite
skiers to tour with.


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Darryl and Zoe on the Granite Glacier, Feb 22, 2015. Note that Darryl has all of his teeth in this photo.


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This photo is looking up to the Unicorn Mountain. The horn is what I'm pointing to in this photo.


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Daniel and Dave on the uptrack.


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I found myself taking a lot of photos on this day since the light was so terrific and the terrain was all brand
new for me.


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One of the features of this area that I'm not used to seeing is the huge amounts of open crevasses and ice falls
pretty much all over the place. This mountain is called the Ironman since it looks like the Ironman crouching,
similar to the comic book character.


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Totally untouched snow everywhere you can see. The group before us was from the West Kootenay area, which
means that they basically skied trees only.


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Darryl and Zoe skinning up for a quick ski back down to the glacier.


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Dave's a pretty big fan of softer, drier snow than what he's used to in Portland. If you listen long
enough, he'll tell you how much he loves his new skis.


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Some icefall with snow bridging over little bits of it.


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Darryl and Zoe at the top of our high point for the day.


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Here's Keith getting ready to ski down the fall line from just below Enterprise Peak.


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Our assistant guide Chucky having a look at the snow before dropping in. Note the gorgeous view and the
terrific light on our first full day of the trip.

Video of Keith parallelo-marking at the bottom of the Granite Glacier



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A look at some of the ice fall near our low point for the day.

Day 2 - A tour out onto the Gothic Glacier


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After a big day out on the Granite, we decided to take a look to our west side and see how that side of things looked.
The approach was a little bit challenging with some wind-hammered snow. Here you see Darryl making his way above a wind lip
that our guide Wayne dug out for us.


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Some really neat-looking granite as we make our way towards Friendship Col.


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Here's Wayne working his way up to the Col. We would wind up going up the left side col, but check out
the size of the cornice on the right side. Yikes. Note also the uptrack directly below it... I think this
may have been the group ahead of us.

View from Friendship Col



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We boot-packed up the col, making for a bit more adventure. Here's Darryl bringing his skis with him up the boot-pack.


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Here's Zoe after boot-packing too. She has the Rossi S7 skis, the same skis I thought Natalia might like.


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This was Daniel's first experience boot packing, and he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.


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Here's Keith at the Friendship Col, with the Rocky Mountains behind him.


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Our crew before making our way for a ski down the Gothic.


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Oliver having a look around with Wayne checking out our ski line.


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We slid down the glacier until we could get a sense of the stability and the ski options. Here's Zoe
enjoying another glorious blue-sky day.


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Looking back at Sentinel Peak and Pioneer Peak.


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After skiing a ways down the Gothic, we decided that it was prudent to halt before running out of
terrain since the ski quality was not as advertised. Notice that Darryl is lacking a tooth or too now.


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Having said that about ski quality, it's still super fun to enjoy some turns in the sun, even if it's
not all white smoke.


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As we climbed back out of the basin on the Gothic Glacier, I tried to get a photo of the sun hiding
behind a bit of ice fall. It didn't totally work, but this was quite cool nonetheless.


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The uptrack was challenging on this trip with both Wayne and Chucky having to take out shovels to
dig out a path for us. I've never seen shovels needed in February for trail-making. Here's Zoe
getting a bit of sunshine while the construction crew is building us a trail. Thanks Wayne and Chucky!


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In the top right of this photo is what looks like a cool couloir line. Or at least, that's what Dave thought
it was until he saw the exit from this couloir. So, it's pretty much unskiable, but we'll call it Dave's Couloir.


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A better look at Dave's Couloir, along with some cool-looking ice fall and Zoe in the foreground.


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After making our way out of the pit, we decided to go for a trek across the Gothic Glacier for a look through the
Friya Col. I thought it was neat to see the long shadows that aren't that normal for February.


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This was the first time I've ever seen Mt Sir Sandford. It's a pretty big beast! Thanks to Chucky for getting us up
onto this Col.

Video look-around from the Friya Col



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I didn't wind up taking nearly as many photos of the amazing food that Deanna made for us, mostly because once I got back from
touring, I'd hang up my pants with my camera, settle into my sexy PJ pants, and that was that. However, check out the
amazing pesto pear foccaccia along with yummy carrot soup.

Day 3 - The Storm and the Mini-Golfing


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On our third full ski day, a low pressure system blew in and blew us all over the place. We tried to go for a ski up onto the
Granite, but promptly gave up due to the wind and snow blowing around. The forecast called for '20 km/hr at peaks'. It was 3-4x
that speed, so we went back down in elevation. On this day we did a 'mini-golf' course of multiple short ascents and wound up
with 8 'holes', and 16 skin transitions. Good training for ski-mo I guess. Now we just need more spandex.


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Even though the light wasn't terrific, you can still see the neat formations that the wind makes in the snow around the
moraines above the hut.

Day 4 - Ironman and Unicorn Exploration


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After a storm day, we elected to take another tour back up the Granite Glacier. Here are Daniel and Dave making their way
on the uptrack.


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A look at Oliver, Zoe, and Darryl on the uptrack. You can start to get a bit of an idea of how large this area is.


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Here's Zoe on the uptrack with some neat icefall below her.


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Dave and Daniel getting their harnesses on in the sun. One sign of an experienced guide is one who tries really
hard to ensure transitions happen in the sunshine and not in the shade. It's not always possible, but when it is,
it's REALLY appreciated.


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Daniel, with a look back over to a buttress on Sentinel Peak, and some decent icefall and glaciated terrain.


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We skied down from the Ironman after deciding that the crevasses were a little spooky. Check out the skiing though,
as this may have been the best snow of the trip.


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Daniel and Dave climbing towards Unicorn Mountain, 25 Feb 2015.


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Looking back towards Sentinel and Pioneer Pass, you get an idea of the scale again of this area.



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Darryl and Zoe climbing up towards Unicorn Mountain.


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Chucky and Wayne probing the area for crevasse and snow depth.


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Zoe and some sweet glaciated terrain.


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Dave having a cookie, and looking back towards the Rockies.


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This might be my favourite shot I took of Darryl. Maybe it's the rime ice on the Horn, but maybe it's the
smile missing teeth.


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Zoe at the Unicorn-Ironman Col. A pretty sweet view from there for sure.


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Some of the rime ice on the col, along with some decent granite wall too.


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Darryl and Zoe, Unicorn Mountain, 25 Feb 2015.


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A bit better look at the spot we took photos from, with Wayne wandering around on the rock.

View around Unicorn-Ironman Col



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Dave and Daniel with the Unicorn and Horn behind them. Daniel was supposed to be in school, but his dad
figured he'd get a different form of education on this week instead.


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This may be the only photo I got of myself. Thanks to Daniel for taking this.


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On the way back to the hut, we trolled over to the granite walls of Sentinel Peak, but the snow wasn't
terrific, so we called it a day.


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On this day, Deanna, our chef, really impressed me. She managed to pull off a 5 course Thai dinner with no
electricity and no running water. AND it was amazing! Nice work Deanna!

Day 5 - Making an attempt on Enterprise Peak


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Since we woke up with more glorious weather, we decided to push it a bit and make an attempt on Enterprise Peak.
While we didn't expect to have amazing skiing, we thought it would be a good objective. Here's Wayne setting our
uptrack for us.


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Even though it was a bit chilly at the hut (in the wind tunnel from the moraines), it was T-shirt weather up on the
glacier and could have been late April. Here's Dave showing off his physique.


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We took a lunch break on a set of granite boulders that should have served beer. It was one of those glorious
lunch spots that could have taken hours.


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This is our lunch spot.


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Here's Dicky at our lunch spot.


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Oliver and his dad Keith uptracking to our lunch spot with Unicorn and Ironman visible behind them.


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I thought this shot was kind of cool.


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"Which way to the beach??" It turns out Darryl sweats as much as I do, so he started managing this by
changing shirts as often as he could.


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From up on Enterprise, our team looked like ants.


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The last bit up to Enterprise was pretty firm, so much so that Wayne used an ice axe to make steps for us.


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Here's Daniel on the boot pack trail.


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David and Daniel coming up to Enterprise Peak.


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One of the most broken pieces of glacier I've seen in a while, looking out from Enterprise Peak.


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Daniel and Dave Lewinsohn, Enterprise Peak, 26 Feb 2015.


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This is the glamour shot for Debbie so that you can actually see their eyes.


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A look at Enterprise Peak from the top of the Forbes Glacier.


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It turns out that the Forbes Glacier doesn't really ski that well, and especially not without very good
visibility. Thanks to Wayne for getting us down to solid ground. The ice chunks along the side of the
glacier looked cool and blue.


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Chucky and a neat piece of ice.


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Here's some of Deanna's delicious mushroom soup. Yummy!

Day 6 - Heading to UniCol


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I guess I only took some photos at the top of the UniCol (Unicorn Colossal Col). Here are Chucky, Zoe, and Darryl
just before going for a really sweet ~600 m run.


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We made a mess of this slope and it was glorious.


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Dave is in his element with a big blue sky and out on high alpine slopes.

Video of Oliver hucking a mean back flip


A big thanks to Wayne and Chucky for keeping us safe, and to Deanna for keeping us full of delicious food all week!
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