Friday, March 28, 2014

Just another trip to Roger's Pass

Boyz will be Boyz
on top of the Pearly Rock

When your trip starts spontaneously, it is always exciting.  When it goes well, it is the most rewarding.  Jay Wellz was on his spring break and hoping to find some moderate avalanche rating somewhere up in Montana or Canada.  We both saw that Roger's pass avalanche condition warning dropped to moderate.  A text message conversation was started.  I was reluctant, "do you think the snow will be good?"  Jay persistent " I can leave in 30 mins be there at 2:00 am" "You should rally".  

What could I say, when you want to go...  Jake was obviously on board the whole time and strong armed the drive there and back.  We left Whitefish at around 7:00 am. Jay got four hours of sleep.  Jake got up an hour early and drove to work to get his passport. 

Crossing the border we took fake names. Felix Helix, Todd Rathmussen and Stejan Hawkenson. We were only going to be over the boarder three days so we figured our Alias's would help our attitudes to survive and succeed this ski bum trip on Rogers Pass, Glacier Provincial Park. We pulled into the only open spot in the lot at the Pass around 2:00 and were touring by 3:00.  It was a beautiful day with not a cloud the sky.  The kind of day that allows you to see the immensity of the Pass.  

Skinning below Sir Donald on the Icilewat Glacier

Another look at this beautiful mountain
A nice afternoon tour on the Icilewat Glacier
Gotta love day light savings time
This spectacular, splitter weather didn't last over 12 hours. In the morning the skies went from grey bird into centimeters of accumulation. We moved from the Wheeler hut up to the Asulkan and heated up a warm sugar drink. It was hard to leave the warm hut as the winds blew outside deterring us from our intended plans of summiting Youngs Peak and skiing the Forever Young couloir. Feeling stuck on the summit in a whiteout we stuck to the mission. The route was tricky and it tools some tricks to manage the ridge. Stejan's Alaskan glacier cornice whipping trick helped us get safely to the top of the Beauty. It was go time, it even cleared a bit for us to get some shots of the glory line. 

Our final day we hoped to get in some new terrain and why not when this place is so Huge. The internet server was down in the Discovery Center so they shut down All of the Park except the permanent open areas.  Before driving back to Whitefish we climbed up the Connaught creek and up to Ursula Minor bowl, skiing some laps in a thick fog. 

Forever Young Couloir
Jay exiting the Forever Young Coulior

Stejan entering the couloir

To most people it wouldn't be worth it to go up into Canada for a ski trip with only a three day weekend when the drive time is twelve hours. For us it was plenty of time to explore some new drainages, ski exciting descents, visit AAC huts and share some leisure time. You don't know until you go has always been a moto of mine.  In the arrival of Spring it is always easier to let opportunities pass us by. We must not forget that a good attitude and a passion for adventure can make any day in the mountains be a memorable one. We have had an amazing winter so far and I feel there is more on the plate this season for the Boyz.

Leapin Stejans

Couloir fishing in a whiteout, yeah you remember uncle

Blog by: Todd Rathmussen, Felix Helix and Stejan Hawkensen