For the 5th year in a row, I had the pleasure of skiing with David Lewinsohn's crew along with the excellent
guiding services of Jim Gudjonson and Neil Warren. We had some challenging avalanche conditions, but we were
still able to enjoy ourselves immensely.

After a long drive in from Calgary where I managed to completely finish my work and then ship my laptop off for repairs,
it was time for a vacation. Unfortunately, the weather in Nelson didn't cooperate and so we wound up with an extra day
of sitting in town. A few of us decided to go enjoy Ainsworth Hot Springs.


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Nick, Peter, and Dave are just about to enjoy the wonders of natural hot springs in Ainsworth.


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A foggy photo of Nick and Peter inside the cave. The cave is where the hottest water is for sure.


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This is Tony near the hottest part of the cave.


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Alex also enjoyed the hot water in the cave. You can see just a little of the stalactites near Alex's head in this photo.


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Tony, Peter, and Nick sitting in the pool just outside the cave. It's still hot here, but not as hot as inside
the cave.


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Dave and I enjoying the view across Kootenay Lake. Not far from those mountains is where we'd be heading in the morning.


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Nick and Peter and Alex hanging out in the main pool, which isn't as hot as the cave for sure. I think
this old school sign is pretty fun.

Day 1 - Heading up to Powder Creek


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Here are Dave and Maya getting ready in the staging area about to head up on the chopper


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Dave and I have the same camera so here's him taking a photo of me, and


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Here I am taking a photo of him.


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Here is Neil trying to find his seat belt in the little helicopter we flew in with. This was the smallest
helicopter we've used to date as it only seated 4 in the back and 1 in the front.


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Dave and I in the back of the helicopter.


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The pilot touching down to our home for the week - Powder Creek Lodge .


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Part of the challenge in getting into the lodge was the fact that it just wouldn't stop snowing. That's much LESS
of a problem once we got into the lodge. Let it snow! Here are Dave and Maya getting ready for our avalanche
beacon exercise.


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Paul Lewis getting his skis ready outside the lodge.


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A little bit better view of the helicopter running shuttles to get the previous group out of the lodge.


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This is Dave with his new helmet from last year's trek in Switzerland.


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Our first day we took it reasonably easy, but still wound up on the side of a ridge near Alberta Knob.
This is Dicky debating about hucking his meat off the right side of the ridge. This is inside Deet Trees.


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This is the eventual path the guys followed me down. Thanks Neil for the guidance from below!


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Some photos from the inside of the lodge. This is the common area, where we read books, drink scotch
and tell stories about the big lines we've skied. What's really nice is that the fireplace in the right
of the photo is open above it to dry your gear upstairs.


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The big wooden kitchen table with a Lazy Susan in the middle.


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In the ruckus around the avalanche scenario, Dicky lost his poles. The following morning (after getting ~30cm more snow),
we hiked up and found his poles in the snowbank. You can see how excited Dicky is!


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Maya made the great decision to skip school for the week and shred some gnar instead. Here she is getting
her skis ready for another day of fun.


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Chris and Dave enjoying a rest stop to eat some snacks. I love that Chris' shell is stupid bright. It makes
for much more exciting photos.


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I didn't get a lot of photos of days 1 and 2 since the snow just kept on coming. Here is Nick I think with ~20 minutes
of snowfall on him.


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This is similarly a 20 minute uptrack worth of snow. You can see Mike Block, Chris Riedener, and Sandy Walker enjoying the fresh snow.


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This is the beginning of day 3 and you can see the sky trying to clear for us.


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You can just start to pick out the slopes on the far side of the valley. You can also see our excellent
sauna building. This is also where the guides, cook, and custodian slept.


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Here is Dave getting ready to ski some fresh lines.


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After a full day of skiing, the last 10 minutes of the uptrack seems like it takes forever.
However, knowing that Marianne had an amazing pot of soup always pushed me a little faster.


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Dave takes a breather on the small pass (Back Door) into one of the small tributaries of the Campbell Creek.
The run below us is called Enchanted Forest.


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Paul Lewis and Dicky Lum enjoying the beautiful powder at the bottom of Enchanted Forest.


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I thought the fluted cliffbands above us looked pretty neat. This is just a little above where Trap Door
would open us up to the other basin and the Attic.


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Paul Lewis - the man, the myth, the legend.


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A recipe for warm gingerbread pudding cake from the Whitewater Cooks book.


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A photo of it. Marianne made this for us and I absolutely loved it!


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A ski trail map showing roughly the areas around the lodge.


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You can see a little bit of the overnight snow accumulation on the balcony.


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I give the view across the valley to North Face the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.


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Looking back across our skin track, you can see the North Face still lit up as we make our way to ski
laps in the Sugar Bowl.


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Dave likes these kinds of days.


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Our hut custodian (and owner of Powder Creek) Guus (pronounced in Dutch and I can't make the sounds properly)
joined us for some touring in the Sugar Bowl.


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We did a few laps in Sugar Bowl that day since the stability wasn't terrific and it was close to the lodge.
Here is Alex as we tour along Sunrise Ridge.


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Neil Warren is an assistant ski guide and joined our crew for the week. He also made my drive from Calgary a whole
lot nicer since he lives not far from me and we were able to car pool. Here he is along Sunrise Ridge with some
ancient larch trees. Guus was telling us that they analyzed the growth rings of one of these trees and were surprised
to find out that it was well over 1000 years old!


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Another day dawns bright and sunny and ready for more skiing.


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Here's a good shot of Dicky taking a breather.


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On this day, we started on the heli pad and dropped into Breakfast Trees behind Neil. Nice bright colours for
him today! That's Jim in the lower right of the photo checking his gear.


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I thought this was a neat shot of our turns in Sugar Bowl the day before.


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Here are Jim and Neil checking out our planned uptrack. In the event, they decided that they didn't like this slope
since it didn't really afford much protection and the slope stability was poor. It turns out that their
intuition was sound as 4 days later this whole slope slid.


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A nice shot of Dicky looking down the valley.


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Maya is chasing her Dad's heels here in the uptrack.


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This shot is a good indicator of some of the strange avalanche conditions at the time we skied at Powder
Creek. This slope has good tree coverage and yet it still pulled out almost a full metre crown and slid.
It gives me chills just thinking about it.


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A shot of Tony and Adrian skiing up Wishbone Ridge. This was a reasonably steep uptrack as I actually
had to have my highest heel lifters to keep a grip on the snow.


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A better shot of Tony and Adrian with the Powder Creek valley down below them.


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Maya and her Dad Dave having a little food break before we go up onto Jenga Peak.


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Alex is skinning his way up to Jenga Peak.


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A good shot of Dave trudging along.


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Chris and the rest of our group trudging along to the top of Jenga Peak.


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Alex taking a photo of me taking a photo of him looking out from the top of Jenga Peak.


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The first set of tracks always looks the best.


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Another nice photo of Tony Layton with a great view behind him.


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A really cool shot of Peter on the side of the ridge Neil took us up so that we'd have a different line to ski than the
last one.


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Here is Alex making fresh turns from the top of Jenga Peak.


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After taking a header into the snow, Adrian is now skiing back down to where we are at the bottom of the bowl.


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I don't think we left much space for the next crew of skiers. It'll snow and cover these tracks overnight I'm sure.


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If you look past Dave, you can see the turns we left in this slope. This may have been my favourite skiing of
the trip as it was steep, fun, and great snow.


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Dave is looking back on the summit up to Wolverine Peak.


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On the Friday of the week, we had to make the call as to whether or not we wanted to ride out an upcoming storm. By the radar that
Jim and Neil could see online, it looked to be at least a 3 day storm. Not being comfortable with a pickup on Tuesday instead of
Saturday, we decided to pull the plug and head out early. This is a shot of the storm clouds above Peter coming in as we were still
able to get some turns in on Friday morning.


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Keep in mind that this is at ~11 in the morning. Check out the red colour in the clouds.


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Here is Peter Guay on the top of Wolverine before we took our last run down.


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Alex Birman and a 1,000+ year old tree.


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Some really crazy storm clouds here.

Videos from Powder Creek

Video of Tony jumping into the plunge pool at Ainsworth Hot Springs


Video of the view around Sugar Bowl


Video of Maya and Dave skiing down the Sugar Bowl


Maya and Dave skiing out the bottom of Sugar Bowl


More video of skiing in the Sugar Bowl


A view from the Wishbone Ridge


The view from Jenga Peak


A message from Alex to my wife


Fluffy Powder from Peter in Hidden Bowl


Dicky crashing off Wishbone Ridge


Jimmy hitting nice turns at Wishbone


Dicky skiing GS turns


Maya straight-lining


Dave skiing his AT skis - his mistress


Here are some notes from my memos on the trip:
Total calories - 22407 calories. Total vertical - 26000 feet.
Day 1 - Sunday, skied trees, 2600 vertical feet, 2900 calories burned, almost skied a cliff
Day 2 - Monday, skied trees, 5100 vertical feet, 5066 calories burned, loads of snow, upwards of 3 cms/hour at times. Maya triggered a size 1.5.
Day 3 - Tuesday, skied into the back side and 2 runs on Enchanted. Great dry snow and wonderful skiing. 4591 cals, 5300 vertical feet.
Day 4 - Wed, first clear day and had a chance to see a little more of the area. Not quite as nice snow as yesterday but still exceptional
ski quality. 4 laps up sugarbowl and two other good runs add up to 6000 vertical feet, 4700 cals.
Day 5 - Thu, beautiful and sunny in the morning. 3950 cals, 5000 feet, two laps up the bowl inside
Wishbone Ridge, and two laps up Wolverine Peak. Great blue sky all day and warm temps.
Day 6 - Fri, 1200 cals, 2000 vertical, big storm coming in, some sun crust and variable snow conditions.
One run down enchanted forest from Wolverine Peak and one from WP to the lodge.

Here's a link to the menu that Marianne made for us. Yum Yum! MENU
I loved the focus on pulse crops and felt as though it made a difference in my skiing all week.

A 17 minute video on our trip (thanks to Dave Lewinsohn!)


Garmin Connect (thanks Dave) view of our trip into Powder Creek HERE
March 4 (day 1) HERE
March 5 (day 2 morning) HERE
March 6 (day 3) HERE
March 7 (day 4) HERE
March 8 (day 5) HERE
March 9 (day 6 part day) HERE

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