Louis, Graham, and I got a day of skiing together in January 2021. These are two
of my favourite ski partners so it's always a special day when our time works out to
shred some powder. Today's destination was the north side of Commonwealth Peak, and
specifically an area off the Hog's Back to the north of the peak.
Graham was really keen to show Louis and I a new area, so we convoyed to the trailhead off the Smith-D and
went for a stroll. Here's Louis looking back to the cars, and across the highway to Mt Chester area.
After climbing for awhile on the east flank of Commonwealth Peak, we gained a sweet larch forest along the
edge of the ridge. The solid layer from no snow for ~5 weeks was pretty evident down about 20 cm on the east
aspect, but once we got up to the ridge line and swapped to more northwest aspect, it wasn't quite as bad.
We decided not to ski the line that Graham was excited about and had skied before based on the hollowness
and the drummy feeling of the snow. Instead we skied down into the thicker trees below us that was ~35-40 degree
slope. Just behind smiling Louis is the Hog's Back, which we'd ski next.
The top of the this run was REALLY fun and great snow, but it was pretty short shots in between the trees and
then it just got too tight to ski.
Looking back at the slope we could have skied, it had clearly run, or at least had very limited snow in it. So
while the tree thrash was challenging, it was still a better decision than running the gut here.
Having a bite of lunch at the bottom of run 1 for the day.
The right-side line would ski nicely in a bigger snow year.
Neither of the two left lines looked terrific from this aspect.
Looking back at the west-facing slopes, it's clear they often run to the bottom of the creek that feeds into
Cool shot looking up to Commonwealth Peak on the uptrack.
Graham skiing down the first pitch of 'Sniffing For Bacon' from the Hog's Back
Graham skiing pitch 2 of 'Sniffing for Bacon'
Graham (from the top) skiing pitch 2
Louis skiing pitch 2 of 'Sniffing for Bacon'
Me on pitch 2 of Sniffing for Bacon
Graham and I poking around for the last pitch.
Louis skiing pitch 3 of 'Sniffing for Bacon
Graham hucking his meat on pitch 3
So, we decided to name the run we skied from the Hog's Back down to Commonwealth Lake 'Sniffing for Bacon' since we had
to basically sniff around to find the next pitch in order to link fall line skiing and avoid bush whacking. It's good to
know that it's doable though - the short answer is keep pushing to skier's left side!