Another amazing trip with le ski Posse, this time at Swift Creek Cabins near Valemount, BC.


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After such an amazing trip two years ago, and with every other hut in Canada booked now until
sometime in 2027, we were thrilled to head back to the Swift Creek Cabins. Here's big Steve
showing off the delivery vehicle for our beer, food, and skis (and us).


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Here's Rowley getting our gear all ready for the chopper ride.


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This was only Simon's second time in a helicopter, with his first being our trip with
Eagle Pass Heliskiing. So, of course, we offered him the front seat.


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Steve and I on the flight into the hut.


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After a quick ~7 minute ride into the hut, we quickly started to shovel out the area.
Since no one had been in here the week before and this area basically never stops snowing,
we had some work to do. Here's Steve starting the process of digging out the area.


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The second flight coming in with the balance of the ski team.


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The sauna hut is definitely awesome.


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Inside the sauna hut. For posterity, I'd make the floor a bit more insulated, but otherwise this
is a dynamite spot to warm up and stretch out.


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Inside the sleeping hut. Note that there are extra sleeping bags in case someone (cough cough Louis)
forgets his at home.


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This was our target objective for 5 nights in the hut - 5 bottles of excellent drink.
Rum, bourbon, Irish whiskey, Glenlivet, and Macallan made a nice trip for sure.

Day 1/2 touring from the hut


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After we got our chores done, bags unpacked, food boxes unpacked, water fetched, and lunches eaten,
it was then time for an avalanche scenario, radio checks, and gear checks. THEN, we could go for a
short tour and assess the area for snow conditions. Here's the team (minus me) on the skin track
heading up into the terrain above the hut to get a look around.


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This session took us up to the mid-point to Radio Pass and basically the light ran out on us
(turned flat), so we turned down and got some turns in. Here's Big Steve saying that the snow
here is pretty okay.


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After a low angle run on the lower part of Social Studies , we headed up to the
glades above the hut for a look-see. Here are Iain and Rowls having some snacks while we
dig in the snow to assess what we've got here.


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I can't remember what point Steve was making here, but he's clearly saying something profound.


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Louis and Simon digging a pit to see what we're dealing with. This specific pit showed us
that the snowpack seemed reasonably solid, at least at this elevation and this aspect.


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Simon tracing a layer we would wind up finding much more reactive at other aspects.

Simon enjoyed his first day on a hut trip



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Louis had been thinking about these pillows since having been here a couple of years ago.
These are definitely above my grade, but they are cool to look at. These are in a zone called
Ribbed for Her Pleasure .

Louis trying a first jump, but finding a lot of sluff


Steve jumping pillows



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Back to the hut and needing to warm up!

Garmin data for day 1 is HERE

But a data summary shows 5.13km distance and 500m elevation gain


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Our travels for the first day - I forgot to start at the hut.

Day 2 - Gummi Bear Airlock and Acceptable skiing


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Our second day was an opportunity to review another area we had skied before, heading over to
Acceptable and towards Gummi Bear Airlock. Here's Louis coming to join me as I packed the heli-pad
down as I waited for the team to get going.


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As we climbed up towards Acceptable, Louis pointed our attentions towards this neat-looking line
on the corner towards Gummi Bear Airlock.

Accidentally caught Steve doing a jump


Simon skiing the last pitch of Acceptable


After a short climb, we skied the bottom half of Louis' scoped line. Here's Rowley finishing it



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Simon blowing powder around.


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Louis had eye-balled some bigger pillow lines, but we decided not to venture out towards them
due to exposure. But, to his credit, they look cool.

Floating through beautiful powder on the finger line Louis spotted



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Simon says 'Skiing is fun', even if you're doing it on a split board.


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Louis not on the snow as he jumped this little bump towards the entrance to Martin's Run.


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THIS is what a face shot looks like after Simon got to experience Exceptional Pillows
or what we lovingly call Gummi Bear Airlock .


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One of the greatest feelings in the world is skiing in deep powder - Gummi Bear Airlock
delivered on that front. Whoop Whoop!


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I love untouched powder!


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Steve also showing what real powder skiing looks like.


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Steve says 'I'll take Face Shots anytime!'


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So, it turns out I'm an idiot and managed to smoke myself just next to my eye as I was packing
up my skis and trying to attach my poles to my skis. This turned into a healthy shiner that
the boys were giving me the gears over so I thought I should record for posterity.


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A gummi bear after skiing Gummi Bear Airlock .


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Back to the hut after a great day of skiing!


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This turned out to be the night for buffalo chicken dip, which was a hit.


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I'm not entirely sure this wasn't whiskey-induced, but we were making a pee spot near the outhouse
and it turned into more of a happy face or creepy clown face.

Garmin data for day 2 HERE but highlights were 9.2km and 820m elevation gained


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The day via Google Earth.

Day 3 - Acceptable, Gummi Bear Turnaround, and Jumping Pillows


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Our third day we were REALLY excited to get back into the amazing powder we had found at Gummi
Bear. Here's the boys making sure the helipad was in terrific shape.


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This is what happens when you bring a split-boarder - expect broken kit. Simon managed to
slightly stroke a tree on the way by and it snapped the carbon tip.


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See the folding over on the top sheet, but it's cooked.


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Nothing that a couple of ski straps can't keep together to get home though!


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We did some digging and decided that a hard planar shear at 80cm is enough to
turn around and go somewhere else. This whole layer slid as you can see by
my facial expression here.


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Looks like surface hoar to me and time to ski somewhere else.


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We made a decision based on the strong surface hoar layer down at 80cm to move along to ski elsewhere,
even though Gummi Bear was 'raring to go'. Here we are climbing back out of the lower Martin's Run
and making our way back.


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Nice look at some of the snow coming down as Louis puts in an uptrack.


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A look in the upper pillow zone with no contrast of the team minus Louis.


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I'm always happiest when the snow is good and we can see a bit of contrast.
The sun just poked out here for the briefest bit and that makes me smile.


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The team at the top of Ribbed


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We decided to finish our session with some fun in the pillows above the hut. Here's Iain getting a
bit of air as the tree line starts.


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And here's Iain buried in the snow following another attempt to huck his meat.


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Simon enjoying some nice snow in Ribbed for Her Pleasure .


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After spending three days with snow coming down and little light, we were happy to see a bit of
sunshine to give us some contrast. Louis says 'Sun is good - snow is better!'

Louis' double tap from one angle


Louis doing a double tap drop straight on



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Having hut beers at the end of a successful ski day.


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Another look at the definition of apres-ski awesomeness.


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A Garmin Inreach commercial from Swift Creek Cabins as we all check in with our wives.
I'd call this 'Get out of Civilization! (But stay married too!)


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We set our meals up to have aggressive soup/appies right when we got home for the day, which
allowed us to comfortably sauna and relax and then have dinner around 7:30pm. I'd strongly
put a vote in for this meal plan as it makes everyone happier and means you don't need to pack
as heavy a lunch. When we got home on this day though, the hut was frigid and needed the fire
stoked as you see with the down jackets on. Tonight's soup was lentil curry with sour cream.


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Simon working to repair his board with, what else, duct tape!


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Iain badly wanted Simon to use a butter knife to add structural rigidity to the board, but it didn't happen.


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The finished repair job using a length of hut roof placed lengthwise for strength and reinforced with duct tape.
This fix allowed Simon to make it through the rest of the trip so nice work Simon on the repair!


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The bottom of the board.

Today's Garmin data is HERE with highlights of 11.2km distance and 960m elevation gain.


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The outing via Google Earth

Day 4 - Exploring New Terrain - Social Studies and Yum-Yum/Acapella


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This day started with high skies, so I obviously wanted to explore some new terrain. This looks
to the north from the hut onto the Last Temptation run and the ridge beyond it.


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Of course, as soon as we got up to the bottom of Social Studies , the clouds started to sock
in a bit, and we lost some of the great morning contrast we had. But, this gives a look back at the
team.


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Looking up to the top of Social Studies


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Working some switch backs to gain our way up to the ridge.


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Simon, from up on some of the firmer snow near the ridge top.


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Rowley, making his way up to our high point for the day. You can see from the ski penetration that
the snow up here was very different to what we found below treeline.


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The thought initially was to summit this high point (left side likely to avoid the massive cornices),
but as the weather started to churn a bit and the wind blew, we decided this was an acceptable finish
for our morning.


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Our high point for the day at the top of Social Studies .


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Another look at the team.


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With changing visibility, you can see why we elected to ski down from here rather than push on.


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I'm telling Louis how great my sandwich is right here.


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Skiing Social Studies was actually quite fun and skied better than expected. It was good
that we skied it when we did though as the massive wind storm that came in on this evening meant the
good snow was done. Steve likes the look of this run.


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Our tracks off in the distance as Rowley says 'That was Fun!'. Since we had such a fun run on
the First Dibs glades on day 1, we elected to do another run in this zone.

Simon riding on a broken board


Rowley skiing in the fun powder



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Simon blowing snow everywhere.


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As a reminder for next season, the uptrack through First Dib Glades is better to stay low and wrap around the
ridge rather than hump your way through tight skin track switchbacks. Thanks Louis!


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Simon and I enjoying the uptrack. The thing about ski touring is you have to enjoy the
uptrack or you'd never do it since you spend ~80% of your time climbing.


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Next, we decided to climb back up the ridgeline and have a look at Gandalf the Grey. Here are
Rowley and Louis just before we dropped into Gandalf. I thought the Brown brothers' skis looked cool here.

Me skiing some of the lower area of Gandalf the Grey



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After a super fun run in Gandalf, we continued across the meadow to climb up Yum Yum expecting
to find some beauty snow. We found that, although it was so deep that we needed to take shifts of less
than 10 minutes each as it was exhausting. Here's Louis having a look in the snow before we commit
to the larger line on Acapella . The same weakness we had found on Gummi was found again here,
and meant that we kept our descent inside the trees. I was proud of our team's decision-making on this
trip even though it meant we had to turn back with some amazing snow to ski. It's not worth it if you
can't make it home safely.

Louis skiing the bottom of Acapella


Steve skiing 'half speed' off his kicker to the moon



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Tonight's dinner was maple mustard glazed salmon, quinoa, and green beans. Yummy!


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Louis took an artsy shot of tonight's dinner.

Day 4 was our biggest day as shown in the Garmin data HERE with 13.3km and 1470m elevation gain.

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The outing via Google Earth

Day 5 - Very cold skiing up to Radio Pass, then more Gandalf the Grey


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With the crazy wind that came in, it also brought a lot of cold air. It's hard to show temperature in a
photo without a thermometer, but this was quite comfortably below -30 deg C with wind.


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Getting ready to go for a tour up to Radio Pass.


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It's hard to explain the feeling of the arctic wind in your face as we broke out into the alpine,
but hopefully this gives a bit of a sense at least. The snow had turned to complete garbage so
we were happy to have skied it the day before. What's weird is that the wind changed direction
completely from the prevailing direction, and it meant that the unskied stuff looked skied with
wind whorls put into it.


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I think had we made the turn around this corner and kept skiing into the freezing wind, we *may*
have been able to see Mt Robson, but it wasn't to be on this day where all of us had pretty much
all of our clothes on.


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Louis with frost on his mustache looking out on an unnamed peak in the Mt Robson Provincial Park.


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A very chilly Paul at Radio Pass.


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A better look to the south


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Cool artistic shot of Radio Pass with a ski pole present, looking to the south.


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Rowley and Iain enjoying the sunshine with some brisk air temps.


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Simon on Radio Pass. Phones and fingers froze pretty quickly with no gloves on to take photos.


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Simon and I on Radio Pass.


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The team minus Louis on Radio Pass.


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The full ski team on Radio Pass


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Cool pano from Radio Pass.

Louis trying out the hut kicker


Big Steve sending it to the moon


Day 5A data from Garmin is HERE with highlights of 5.2km and 370m elevation gain.


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The outing via Google Earth


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We decided that there was still plenty of skiing in our legs and elected to go back up the
First Dibs Glades ridge for another look at Gandalf the Grey. Here's Simon showing where
we had skied the day before on Acapella .


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Big Steve with a look in the sunshine to the north of us and the Brown brothers taking a communal pee.


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Up on top of First Dib Glades deciding to come down in the beautiful snow.


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This was the pillow line that brought Louis back for another look.


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Louis on the diving board.


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Louis mid air.


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And dropping in.


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Comfortably landing and skiing out of this on problem.


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Rowley enjoying some nice snow at the bottom of Gandalf the Grey .


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Not bad skiing I'd say.


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Yes sir!

Paul jumping a tiny drop


Tiny jump from another angle - thanks Louis for the convincing to try this



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Cool look at the mini jump I did.

Simon hucking a small drop


Steve launching himself to the Moon on the hut kicker



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The shot of the trip! Nice work Louis setting it up, and to Big Steve for launching it.


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Moose lasagne is a big hit with this group - thanks Louis!

Day 5B data HERE shows 4.1km and 375m elevation gain.
Total trip distance traveled was 48.1km and total elevation 4500 vertical metres or almost 15,000 vertical feet.


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The outing via Google Earth


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Iain, Steve, and I waiting on the cold heli pad.


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Le Ski Posse members waiting for our heli lift home.


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Iain says 'Swift Creek kicks ass!'


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The 1 inch ice block that Louis dug out to get to the creek after a cold, cold night.


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The now modified unofficial trail map of Swift Creek Cabins with our additions, that
seem to have good support from others for the naming!


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Swift Creek Cabins are a nice place to call home for a few days of time away from civilization.


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I tried to recreate Louis' cool photo from two years ago.


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A sleeping hut, a cooking hut, an outhouse, and a sauna. Home for a vacation.


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Me in the chopper heading home.


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The chopper bringing in the second half of our team.


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I finally got to see Mt Robson on our drive back. Almost every other time I've been through here,
it's been hidden in the clouds.


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Close up of Mt Robson.


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Unconscious Simon on the trip back. We'll be back to Swift Creek again soon boys!
Thanks to le Ski Posse for a great trip, thanks to Louis for driving the man meat mobile
and thanks to all of the boys for good times and fun stories!

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