If you stay at the Icefall Lodge, you can venture to the nearby Mons Hut or Lyell Hut for the night, or as part of a multi-day, hut-to-hut linkup. In what turned out to be the most memorable part of our week in Canada, ten of us made the trip to the Lyell Hut, and caught some really fun skiing the next day.
The hut– which we were told is the highest in all of Canada– is perched on a rocky shoulder overlooking the vast Southwest Lyell Glacier and looks more like a small Arctic outpost than a spacious 10th Mountain Colorado cabin. Inside it has a standard kitchen setup and heater– there is no wood stove because there are no trees around and therefore no wood to burn. Despite it being advertised as sleeping twelve, we found it quite cozy for a group of ten. We were packed kind of tight on the single, upper-level bunk, but that was fine with us since we weren’t going there because of the five-star accommodations. read more>>>
Christy, in the Bird Bowl.
We just got back from an awesome week up at the Icefall Lodge, in the Canadian Rockies. Situated in a rugged area of mountains and glaciers west of the Selkirks, the privately owned lodge (actually two lodges) is nestled right at treeline has everything from gladed tree runs, to short backyard-style laps, pillow lines, and massive glacial tours. As an added option, there exist two satellite huts, the Lyell and Mons huts, to which you can travel to and adventure from, expanding the reach of the Icefall Hut to places that might otherwise be too far away. read more>>>
Spring is here. The busy work season is winding down, the backcountry snowpack is deeper and more stable– this is often the time we get to pursue our personal skiing goals. I have to say we’re really looking forward to this next objective.
Christy, Chris Davenport, and I are setting out to ski the Centennials. Put simply, the 100 tallest mountains in Colorado are called the Centennial Peaks. Fifty-three of them are 14ers, and the other 47 are the tallest of the 13ers. The three of us— having already skied the 14ers— are aiming for the remaining Centennials, to ultimately ski the 100 tallest mountains in the state. read more>>>
Christy climbing Gold Hill.
The 2013 Elk Mountains Grand Traverse was this past weekend. As our last race of the season, we were thrilled to finish well– Christy was the first female to cross the line and we nabbed the top spot in the Coed Division. And after twelve finishes here (six as a team), our time of 9:55 was the fastest we’ve done together, and PR for Christy.
The route was modified a bit due to the weather, but the basic layout is here on the map. The climbs are in light green and the ski descents red, and the new section up and down Peak 6 isn’t even on the map (off to the right). Click to enlarge.
Against our better judgement, Christy and I headed to Breckenridge to compete in the Five Peaks race.
Earlier in the week we fully declared our intentions to pass on this years race if the weather forecast looked too rough, bad weather in Breck (known to some as “Breckenfridge”) is usually colder and windier than anywhere else. Yet even though the forecast showed a sizable winter storm for race day, we still signed up. I guess our inner masochists silenced our sensible sides. read more>>>
The third and final climb of the day, out of Lenado to Four Corners and home.
In seasons like this, when the steeper backcountry skiing isn’t all that safe, we keep ourselves busy with races. And part of the fun in that is in the training days.
Many of the seasons races are already behind us. The Power of Four, the Vail COSMIC (for Christy), and the Highlands Skimo Series are all wrapped up. But we still have the Breck Five Peaks next weekend and the Grand Traverse the Saturday after that. Even though we’re probably good on mileage, the weekend forecast looked pretty lousy, so Christy, Anda, and I set out for another long day. This time, we connected the two original 10th Mountain Huts– McNamara and Margy’s– from a start at the Hunter Creek trailhead. read more>>>