Here are some photos and videos from a trip up Narao Shoulder and a bit more than half
of the Spray Range Traverse.
Narao Shoulder - Lake O'hara area
Louis and I decided to explore a new area by checking out Narao Shoulder. It's on the way up to
Pope's Peak in the Lake O'Hara area, but we only had a half day to ski, so it was a good objective.
While the snow was actually pretty terrible, the terrain is pretty good and we'll definitely be back
at some point. This is Louis on the way up the skin track.
This is the top of Narao Shoulder. Definitely not skiable.
Louis on the top of Narao Shoulder, looking across to the entrance to Sherbrooke Lake. This is one way
to ski the Wapta Traverse, but most people go the other direction.
You can see the cloud bank that sit in the valley all day just below this photo. It was pretty
punchy snow and I wish I had some touring crud-destroyers.
Spray Range Traverse
Louis and Rowley got roped into a mental health day to go for an exploratory look around a route in
K country called the Spray Range Traverse. It starts at Burstall Pass trailhead, goes up the
Commonwealth Peak Col, then down to Commonwealth Creek, up Super Bowl (we think) to Tryst Lake Chutes,
over the pass and down along Tent Ridge. Here is Louis getting ready for the day. The morning started
chilly at -24 deg C in Calgary, but where we were in K country was warmer than that.
Rowley and the F-250 Hilton ready for another adventure.
Rowley on Burstall Lake, looking up at the Pig's Tail, or the Shark's Tooth.
The bottom half of the approach up Commonwealth Creek was excellent with far better than expected
snow and pretty easy skinning.
Louis put in the skin track from our snack break to the Col, except where we started running out of
snow. The top surface was boilerplate hard, and even that was only reasonable to skin on for about
a 30 foot width. On either side of this, the wind slab on top was ready to propagate and the one about
40 cm down was equally strong.
This little slope above Rowley likely wouldn't be terrific skiing judging by the rocks at the top and
the wind-scoured surface.
Since I have ski crampons and the boys don't, they boot-packed the last bit of this skin. Due to Louis'
many months of sheep hunting, he seemed far more comfortable on crappy scree than crappy snow.
Rowley also boot-packed the last section.
Rowley commented that he thinks ski touring is the single most intensive power output activity he does.
Admittedly, this was after a major pucker-fest on boilerplate snow, and some boot packing.
We got up to the top of the col and looked over to see a massive cornice. Rather than just hucking it,
we had a look around and elected to put in where it was a little safer. Here's Rowley looking over the
edge looking down at Commonwealth Creek.
The sun popped out for a few minutes here to enjoy the savage wind on the cornice top.
Video of Rowley coming down Commonwealth Col
Louis with a look at a GIANT line on Mt Smuts. Yeehaw boys. Maybe someday.
Video of Louis on pitch 2 of Commonwealth Col
I thought the top half of the north side of Commonwealth Col was surprisingly nice.
Louis and Rowley smiling and loving another great ski touring day.
Rowls hit a little bit of snow and gave himself a snow beard.
Here's Louis looking back at the slope we skied off Commonwealth Col. At about ~600 vertical meters
and some strong skin-tracking, it was a great pitch to ski.