While our good friend Dicky wasn't able to join us, we made some new friends
and also skied with some old ones at Icefall Lodge in the Rockies in Feb 2013.

Day 1 - Saturday Feb 2


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I convinced my friend Rowley to join the trip this year on short notice. Here he is at the Chatter Creek
staging area in Donald, BC, getting ready to hurry up and wait. The fog came in a little heavy on
this day and made us a little late getting in.


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Here are some excellent stickers on the side of a ski box at the Chatter Creek staging area. I like the
Grand Targhee one.


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Here are 10 sets of fat skis getting ready to go sent up to a great little lodge in the sky.


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Our bags and skis getting ready to load. We were blue taped (the kids from Fairy Meadows were orange)
on this day.


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This was Rowley's first experience in a helicopter. He was a little bit excited to say the least.


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We were on weather delay for awhile, but once we got above the clouds, it was a pretty clear day.


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Here we are coming in to our home for the week - Icefall Lodge.


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Our tour bus for the week - a Bell 212 made by Coldstream Helicopters in Vernon, BC.


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I think this is a cool shot.


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Looking at all of these great skis makes me excited to ski. Whoop whoop!


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Once we got all of our team and gear into the lodge, we got our gear together and headed out for a
beacon exercise and for a group scenario. We even got a few turns in up on Home Run above the lodge.
Here's Rowley standing next to the heli pad, pretty ready to go.


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Here we are doing a beacon exercise where I've buried my beacon and Rowley has to find it.


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Jim took us up to near the top of Home Run for a quick shot before we lost light.

Here are Dave's GPS tracks for Day 1:
Helicopter ride is Here
Saturday tour is

1.8 miles, 968 ft
Garmin Connect data is Here
Google Earth (save and load into Google Earth Here

Day 2 - Sunday Feb 3


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Here is our new ski friend Rick from Vancouver in front of the new Icefall Lodge, built in 2008.


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On this day, we travelled up above the Home Run area, around Zen Glacier and dropped into the Icefall
Peak drainage. Here is Peggy from Seattle and Rowley from Calgary under a cliff band as we're traversing
up the mountain.


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One of the great things about skiing with guides is that they take you places you likely wouldn't have
gone on your own. Here is an uptrack I likely wouldn't have set, but it took us up and over this cliff
band and up onto the Zen Glacier.


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Here's Rowley with a neat view up above us. Our goal is up and over this col and down into the other
drainage.


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I didn't realize we were on a glacier until Neal pointed it out.


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I think this is Kemmel mountain up above Rowley and Dave.


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We then skied down a beautiful run almost down to treeline. Here is Rowley at the bottom of the run
in the Icefall Peak drainage.

Video of the guys commenting on their cool run



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We dropped a little further into a gully and hopped around on some pillows and rollers down to
where we turned around.


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On the way back to the lodge, we got up to a high point with a cool rock outcropping.
Here is Dave Lewinsohn pretty excited (as he often is) about the upcoming run.


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We descended a run and then traversed over to the top of the Home Run area since there were large
cliffs and cornices directly below where our fall line was. Here is Rowley getting ready for our
ski down to the lake level.

Sunday tour is

10.5 miles, 5300 ft
Garmin Connect data is Here
Google Earth (save and load into Google Earth Here

Day 3 - Monday Feb 4


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We started the day with a breakfast run down the trees below the lodge. Here is Rowley showing that
he likes the deep powder in the trees.


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We then skinned back up and traveled across the cliff bands over to Alien Bowl. Here is Rowley on
what I would consider to be a relatively exposed area.


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A close-up of Rowley under some cool cliff bands.

Video of Dave coming down a great face below Alien Shoulder



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After a great run down this slope, Rowley is taking a break and having some hot gatorade.


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This was basically our views over the next couple of days as we did have a fair amount of fog, precipitation,
and low clouds.

Video of Rowley skiing off Alien Shoulder, but then eating it


Video of Rowley skiing the bottom of Alien Shoulder



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After a couple of laps in the Alien area, Jim and Neal took us for some extra runs in the Home Run area. In this
photo, you can see a sweet-looking coulour that would be a little bit tight.

Monday tour is

9.0 miles, 5200 ft
Garmin Connect data is Here
Google Earth (save and load into Google Earth Here

Day 4 - Tuesday Feb 5


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After more snow arrived overnight, we went back into the trees to ski some more powder runs. Here's Rowley
taking a breather in the snow after falling off the uptrack. We think he lost his sunglasses in this dump.


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As much as the visibility wasn't amazing, the snow was pretty terrific. Look at this smile.


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Rick was a new addition to our trip this year. While he's an excellent old-school skier, he's also
an inspired Scrabble player.


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On this day, we were looking to get up a little higher, but the visibility wasn't great. We skied through
the trees, had an adventurous cliff run, and finished with a bonus run in the Home Run area. Here's
Rowley looking back up at the run we just had.


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The real kicker on this day was that we stopped briefly at the lodge before going back out for a bonus run.
As we were trying to quickly dry off, Peggy brought us down a bowl of soup to recharge before going back out
for the last run. Yeehaw, that's what I call service!

Tuesday tour is

10.5 miles, 7200 ft
Garmin Connect data is Here
Google Earth (save and load into Google Earth Here

Day 5 - Wednesday Feb 6


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We started our day with a run down an old slide path near the lodge. Since the visibility socked in, we trended
back over to the 7 Deadly Sins area, but first, we dropped a short run below the cliff band near the lodge.
Here's our uptrack under the cliffs.


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Our guide Neil decided that this mushroom was a good place to strip off his skins.


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Even though we didn't wind up in the alpine, this day was one of the best powder days I've had in recent memory.
Here's Peggy enjoying some of that champagne powder. We skied 4 runs in this area over the course of the day
and really enjoyed the north-facing lines.

Wednesday tour is

8.8 miles, 5229 ft
Garmin Connect data is Here
Google Earth (save and load into Google Earth Here

Day 6 - Thursday Feb 7


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Here's Rowley on the uptrack as we're heading for a look into the alpine. The goal on this day was to reach the
Portal, a col underneath Mt La Clytte.


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Here's a look at the terrain underneath Mt La Clytte.


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Even though there was blue sky ahead of us, behind the crew, it still looked stormy. You'd almost think that
I took this with a black and white camera.


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Sandy climbing up into the alpine.


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The fluted hills above us looked pretty sweet.


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Rowley and others skiing under Mt La Clytte.


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A few of the crew making our way to the Portal.


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Enroute to the Portal, we took a quick 'appetizer' run to get our legs warm. This is a look down
along the slopes we're going to ski.

Video of Rowley skiing down our appetizer run



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A cool shot of the kids under Mt La Clytte.


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There's something really beautiful about an uptrack running through an alpine bowl.


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Rowley and Alex taking a short break enroute to the Portal.


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This area provides for some large vistas.


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Neil with a view looking to the north out of the Portal. As we were climbing under this col, Mt La Clytte
was steadily sluffing snow out of its steep face.


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Here's Rowley looking down at the face we're going to ski.


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A shot of Rick looking up at Mt La Clytte.


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After a short break, here's Rick ready to ski.

Video of some thoughts at the Portal



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While this run could continue down a few more thousand feet, we elected to stop here since it turns into
a 'Toilet Bowl' in the words of our guides. Here is Rowley with a look at some pretty rocky mountains.


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We came back up to the Portal and needed some steeper uptracking skills in order to regain the col. Here
is Christian showing us how to use your skis to stay on the snow surface.

Video of bootpacking with skis



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Our guide Jim had a great idea to go up above the Portal to drop into a sweet couloir. Here are the kids
making their way up to the couloir entrance.


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Rowley is getting his skis lashed up and ready to bootpack the last few vertical metres.


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Rowley was excited for what we would see at the top of this run.


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Here's Dave making the last few steps up to the couloir.


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Jim cut us out an entrance to get us into this run. Thanks Jim!

Video of a look around the couloir



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After a great run down the couloir face, here's a look back up to see Dave at the bottom and Kim inside it still.

Video of Rick skiing down the couloir


Video of Rowley skiing down the couloir


We then skied back up to the Portal, dropped back down and skied 3 more runs enroute to finishing back at the lodge.


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This is a great sticker on the can crusher at Icefall Lodge.

Thursday tour is

8.3 miles, 5158 ft
Garmin Connect data is Here
Google Earth (save and load into Google Earth Here

Day 7 - Friday Feb 8


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We made an attempt on this day to get up onto an icefield (La Clytte), you can see what the weather was
doing in front of Rowley and Neil. Visibility remained at only a few people, so we dropped back into the
valley and did a couple of laps.


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Just before having lunch, we dropped into a pretty cool little gully. Here's Rowley sitting on top of
a snow mushroom that he would have skied right over had Jim not stopped here.


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We had lunch and did a shovel experiment to show how to best excavate people from a deep slide.
We then skied a long run down to almost valley bottom which Rowley called his best run of the trip.

Video of Rowley skiing slide alder


Friday tour is

9.7 miles, 5500 ft
Garmin Connect data is Here
Google Earth (save and load into Google Earth Here


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A look at the ski runs around the lodge.


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A better look at the whole area around Icefall Lodge.


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Here's a look inside the lodge as we're waiting for the helicopter to pick us up. Did I mention we got
one more quick run in the morning before the chopper arrived? Dave called this the 'Gravy on the Cake'.
Total vertical - 36000 feet for the week, and over 100 km travelled.
Link to PDF of GPS tracks is HERE
Yeehaw!

Dave's photos and videos are here: HERE
Dave's excellent video is here:


Some of Rowley's photos here:

































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