My friend Dicky Lum invited me to join them on their annual backcountry ski trip.
This year, the trip went to the Selkirk Lodge, in the south Selkirk range, just east
of Revelstoke, BC. The snow was impeccable, the company was outstanding, and the trip
was the best first hut trip a guy could ask for.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort


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Even though we were heading into the backcountry that afternoon on a helicopter, Dicky, and Dave and I
felt the need to get some turns in at the new Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Mt Begbie. We were so excited
(okay, I was so excited) to ski that we were at the base of the lodge before 8 AM. Did I mention that the
gondola opens at 9?


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This is Dicky Lum hammering down the trails at Revelstoke with his tele skis. I think this run was called
Devil's Club . We managed to get over 12,000 vertical feet in a morning. Not too bad at all.


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We dropped into the North Bowl and found some sweet powder. The traverse to get out was a little long,
but the snow made it worthwhile.


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Here is Dave Lewinsohn getting some turns in on Vertigo . This mountain is definitely going
to be something to be reckoned with when they're done.

Selkirk Lodge backcountry skiing


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After skiing the morning, we got ready for the shuttle to take us to the helicopter. Here are Dicky and Dave
hanging out at our pickup spot - the Hillcrest Hotel.


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The shuttle then took us to the helipad, up towards Rogers Pass called Albert Canyon. From here, we waited for
the helicopter since some goon named Shaun White was out boarding that afternoon and made us late.


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The view looking up the valley from the landing site and our helicopter. When the chopper comes in, there's
a massive amount of rotor blast throwing wind and snow everywhere.


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The instrument panel of the Bell 212 helicopter we flew into Selkirk Lodge in.


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The view from the inside of the chopper as we pick up 5000 vertical feet to the lodge. That's Jim
Gudjonson sitting shotgun. Apparently, he's one of a very select few to pass all of his ACMG guide exams
without dropping one. He's also a hell of a guide and a great skier.


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Blurry shot coming up on the lodge.


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The chopper unloading our gear.


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Quick in, quick out. These things cost ~ $3K an hour to operate. Not cheap for sure.


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A later evening shot of the view from the lodge up to the Justice Glacier.


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Just to the right of the previous picture, the pointy thing in the left is called the Cowboy.


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Panoramic of the view south from the lodge.


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Looking to the southwest from the lodge. This would take you up to the Primrose Glacier area.


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Not a bad view from the beer deck. This is the valley we flew in.


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Our humble lodge for the week. I'm told it's one of the crown jewels in the Canadian hut system.
Complete with solar powered 12V lighting, propane generator, satellite internet,
and propane-powered pooper burner, it's pretty lush.


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Looking back to the Albert and the Justice Glacier. One of the things I loved up here was the untouched
nature of the snow. The group busted on me for saying, "it's so beautiful and white", but what I meant was
that it had no tracks except ours.


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The South Selkirks get the Paul Perrault stamp of approval. This is our first ski day and wound up
being our only bluebird day. I'll take deep powder over bluebird anyday, but our first ski day had both.


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Skinning up to Primrose Peak. That's Dave Lewinsohn's pack we see.


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Looking out to the rest of the south Selkirk range. Pretty amazing views.


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We skinned up as far as was safe, and then we boot-packed to the top of Primrose Peak. This is Dave
Lewinsohn, one of the best motivators in the group. "Hey Jim, can we do one more run before going in?"
"Um, Dave, it's dark out..."


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Nice view looking down into the McDougall Creek drainage. That wall is pretty imposing.


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I'm not much of a peak-bagger, but I was pretty stoked to get up this guy. Thanks to Toby Brodkorb for taking the shot.


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The descent back down to our skis. Yes, it did feel that steep. It's funny because I have no problems going up
rock that's totally vertical, tilted back, or even roofs, but I start to get sketched out walking down snow
slopes more than 40 degrees.


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What I love about this shot is the single skin track across the glacier. That's ours.


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Tammy Nerwin looking up at the sweet turns we're putting into Primrose Peak.


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We then dropped into Pink which feeds into the McDougall Creek basin. The snow was some of the
deepest and lightest I've ever skied in my life. Simply unbelievable. I think one of the guys characterized it
as white smoke. That's Dan Birman looking up at the turns.


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Toby Brodkorb at the bottom of an epic run down Pink


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Tammy, enjoying the exhiliration that only deep powder can bring.


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Just look at the poofy pockets and pillows. I felt like I was in a ski video the entire week.


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Dicky, Mike Block, and Toby chilling out before we hit Fluff . That's Dicky waving.


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The light doesn't do it justice (although it was really cold in the shade...), but this run was
so great, even the guides were talking about it.


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Back in the sun, warming up after our second big run of the day. Those are our tracks in the middle of the shot.


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It was a little bit chilly (-20ish + wind) the second day too, but we still managed to have a great day.
Here's Dicky again. That's Al Pacifico on Dicky's right.


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Dan was the youngest member of the trip, being a high school sophomore. Here he is just before we dropped
into the Campion Bowl prior to a big alpine ascent.


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We were lucky enough to have two full-fledged ACMG mountain guides on our trip. This is Wayne checking out the
snow before we drop the bowl. Alex Birman is the old schooler with those sick orange boots.


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Putting turns in on Campion Bowl.


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This traverse made me poop a little. It's tough to see in this picture, but our trail was not wide and dropped
on both sides. I was definitely the fat kid on this morning's ascent. Thanks to Mike for chilling with
me at the way back of the pack.


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It's always tough to get perspective, but this was the quick drop after crossing that little ridge.


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Site of lunch on day 2 prior to going up on the Justice Glacier. After lunch, the weather came in
pretty hard. We had limited to zero visibility and skied off the glacier as soon as we could.


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Day 3 found us checking out the trees. This was after a run called Balls of Chrome as we
load back up on food and fluids. It's important to keep up the food supplies as in Jim's words,
"If you bonk, you're F&*^'ed!". We did finish this day with a great extra run into an area called
Marten. This wound up being one of my favourite areas with some great gladed trees.


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On day 4 we went back and forth into the trees to stay out of the weather. Here's Toby
as we made our way up an area called Bavarian Woods .


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Here's Wayne with a nice view across the valley.


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Taking a breather going up Bavarian . I took some flak for wearing my helmet even on the uptrack
but I must say that I was warm and that's all that matters.


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Dicky and Russ Schwartz covered in snow after a great drop into some hip deep soft stuff.


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The bottom portion of Bavarian was my personal favourite part of the trip. This is Al
getting some tele action.


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Day 4 wound up being one of our longest days finishing with us getting back to the lodge in the dark.
Dave and I hit a great final run on Balls of Chrome to get some more pow pow. Check out the
poofing snow!


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Alex Birman on the top of Campion Bowl on day 5. We went back up the bowl so that we could drop in and enjoy
some yoyo runs on the other side of the bowl.


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Our goal is that notch above us.


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Tammy posing as foreground in front of the turns we just got.


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The sun came out just briefly on day 5 to give us some nice views. That's our morning run going
right down the middle of this 2000 foot drop.


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This is the team skinning back up to get another run from the top of ridge on the right.


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Jim and Wayne had to break through the crust on the top of this ridge, but it made for a couple of
beatiful runs.


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Dave Lewinsohn in front of the East Creek drainage.


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Full size Dave.


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I think this is Skip Smith at the bottom of the run. The notch is what we skied down from. Note the complex
terrain and the hanging death on either side of this run. Mom, if you're reading this, the terrain you see
here is WAY more complex than the terrain that I self-assess and ski.


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I haven't really mentioned the food on this trip yet. We had three cooks cooking for us 4 meals a day,
breakfast at 7 AM, a packed lunch, appetizers at ~5pm, and dinner at 7:30ish. All of our dinners had
amazing desserts as well. I felt the need to record this one as it was an upside down pineapple gingerbread
cake with lemon cream sauce. WOW! Nice work Deanna!


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Now, this is almost too embarrassing to publish. Apparently, Skip thought it was too hot to wash dishes
in the kitchen with pants on. So, he took them off. The cooks immediately yelled, "NO!", so Skip put on
an apron. Well, ladies, he's SINGLE, likes the outdoors and enjoys washing dishes. Any takers?


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Just so you don't think that Skip only hangs out in his underwear and aprons, here he is after a run down
Sweet Shot . I ate it into a tree well on this run, but Skip did just fine.


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Here's Mike on day 6 showing off the style of his doo-rag.


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Dicky has to be one of the hardest working skiers I know. He takes hard lines, loves the speed,
and crashes hard. As someone else said on this trip - "Ski tele - Free your heel, and plant your face."


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On day 7 (our last day), we got to go back into Marten . After a few runs in here, NO ONE wanted
to go home. The run I captured here started inside a narrow gully, and then opened into some sweet
tree skiing.


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Al Pacifico drinking some kind of crazy liquid.

Video of Al's wife Dina cranking her tele turns at the bottom of Marten: VIDEO


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A nice picture of Dave adjusting his avalung.


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On the way out from the lodge, we also wound up delayed by snowboarders. Figure it out.


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The new ski racks I'm going to put into my garage. This is the basement of the Selkirk Lodge.

Thanks to everyone for making my first backcountry hut trip such a success! I'm now officially hooked!

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