Since both Graham and I work too much, and since it's been a reasonably decent winter in terms of snowfall
we figured we were overdue a mental health day to go play in the mountains. We met up at Highwood Pass
and put some lines all over the Pocaterra and Grizzly side of the highway. Highwood closed on Dec 1
so we thought we'd get up here before it takes a ~20+ km ski in to the trailhead too.


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Graham got 'first tracks' on the highway into Highwood and here's showing the excellent snowplow work in the
parking lot, even if they didn't plow the other side for Graham yet.


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Graham is shielding his face here since he doesn't want to be identified as taking a sick day for skiing.
I let him on the fact that a 'mental health day' absolutely qualifies for a sick day.


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Since this was my first time skiing in this area, Graham took the lead and showed me around. It didn't take too
much tree thrashing before we popped up on the other side into a neat basin.


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The wall separating this range from the Elk Pass side was lit up with morning snow.


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Graham and an impenetrable rock wall. Our goals for the day are both left and right of this image.


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This is the lower trees on Pocaterra Ridge, a super popular destination, at least until before Dec 1.
Even though it had snowed ~10 cm overnight, you could still see tracks from previous skiers in here.


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Me, heading up into Grizzly Col.


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Looking back to where we came from. What a stunning day in the alpine!


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We elected to explore a bit into the Grizzly Col area. Even though it was definitely thin with lots of sharks
lurking under the surface, and it was quite chilly and shaded, what snow was there was quite nice.
We also got to watch a raven almost take my head off and then steadily climb the whole way up to the col and
then hang out on Mt Tyrwhitt, which was rad.


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Graham at our southernmost spot for the day. With a bit more snow, this area would ski really well. You can see
from here the path we're going to take next, towards the pass that's visible below Mt Pocaterra.


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Pano of Mt Pocaterra, the sub ridge, and looking north from Highwood Pass area, from Grizzly Col.

Video of my first turns of 2019-2020 season (a bit underwhelming but still awesome)


Video of Graham's first turns of 2019-2010



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This is looking into the valley we're heading into. A sharp eye would say, "Paul, why would you descend into this
mess of rocks and boulders". but it was actually pretty fun and good exploring.


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Poking along through the seas of sharks. As much as this will never wind up in ski movies, I love exploring terrain like this
and I'm super lucky that Graham loves it as well.


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Pocaterra Prancing (as I've named it) are the east-facing slopes in the left of this picture.


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Graham says, "I like it! I like it a lot!".


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Initially, the plan was to zip around the skied out tree triangle and then poke up onto the ridge, but this snow we
were traveling through was so nice, we decided to do laps there instead. Graham says, "Yes, please, can I have another!"


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Neat shot of Mt Tyrwhitt. At one point, the sun was EXACTLY inside the tiny little rock arch visible on the left
slope of the mountain.


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Better look at Grizzly Col. We only went into the bottom of the basin (where the bubbles of boulders stop)
and then decided it wasn't quite deep enough to merit more climbing. But again, this area could be magical.


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Putting lines up the snow slope.


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This is an impressive wall alongside Mt Pocaterra. Some small bits of snow had come off the rock, but really there
isn't really anywhere to accumulate snow as it's too steep.


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Cool shot with the arch on Mt Tyrwhitt visible.

Paul on lap 1 of Pocaterra Prancing


Graham on lap 1 of awesomeness. I name this Pocaterra Prancing



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Graham posing as Captain Morgan. i think our high point was about at the col between Mt Pocaterra (left side) and the skier's
ridge that everyone skis.

Graham on lap 2 of awesomeness


Paul on lap 2 of Pocaterra Prancing



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Graham also had the distinct pleasure of running into his buddy Duncan, which is pretty random, but awesome.

The data is HERE

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