Monday, December 12, 2011

THE GORGE - Backcountry Skiing

The quiet place that offers amazing backcountry ski terrain, the Gorge, as many call it, attracts many backcountry skiers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. We are lucky enough every couple of years that the road gets maintained for logging/forestry up and down the valley. This allows cheap ski bums like myself a chance to drive my car up the road and get a taste of the sick ski terrain! Sure if you have a sled you can work you way up there anywhere you want. But for these few weeks this year that the road is open, its good to take full advantage of the short drive from the Okanagan or Revy and go shred it up.

And there is lots of terrain; North & East facing alpine bowls, steep glades (and mellow ones too), drops, steep chutes, and fine views of the surrounding valleys.  Included here (printable version) is just a small map that should help you get into the valley and explore. KM 15 and 18 are popular starting points (with nice parking pullouts) that will allow you straight forward approaches into a wealth of skiing. Get out and adventure while you can. The logging (as of December 9th, 2011) has basically stopped deep in the valley, so until the next big snowfall you should be able to still get in there. Bring chains, a saw, a multi frequency radio and good tires and you should be good to go. Have fun out there!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Great Online Sources

Listed here are a few great online sources for climbing, skiing and backcountry information. Recently, as of this November, the Avalanche Bulletins in western Canada have been given a facelift. Due to some really hard work and research, there has been a new format for which the bulletin's are being posted. Good illustrations and thorough information make these bulletins really easy to use and a great asset to planning any outdoor pursuits in avy country. These bulletins are available via Parks Canada and

Parks Canada & B.C Avy Bulletins: Western Canada Avalanche

Another cool little web source I found was an online guide to the classic Waterfall Ice Climbs in the Canadian Rockies. As many know, the famed guidebook is now out of print (?) and coming by one is next to impossible (without some kind of bribe to a buddy). The online guide gives some great info to many of the classic climbs listed in the guidebook.

Waterfall Ice In The Rockies: Select Guidebook

And one last source that I have been using for years has been getting spruced up. The Grav Sports Ice Conditions page, started by Will Gadd and friend(s) has really become a huge source of information. If its new routes your looking for, beta on approaches or just a partner, just send out a message. The ice community in the Rockies is super friendly and always willing to share with others.

Grav-Sports Ice: Conditions

Have fun out there!