This line didn't have much gnar, but it was still somewhat aesthetic and high up and most importantly it held good snow.
This TR is a few weeks delayed (Mar 17/18), but oh well. Anyway, I've wanted to utilize this approach as much as I could this year. It's pretty sweet. A nice easy skin up the IPP road and then a short traverse around Cook and you're all of a sudden away from the masses and in solitude. We made camp at 1700m beside a nice sub-alpine lake on a little knob, all about 3 hours at a casual pace from the car. This was ideal since Maddy was still fighting a cold and wanted to camp, but didn't want to put in much effort.
We set up camp and made some tea and coffee and relaxed in the sun while looking out over the Whistler valley.
When we finished our chill time we went for a skin up the valley to see what the approach looked like. The valley is a rather large terrain trap with big cornices looming over the north side of Cook. I put a bit of distance between Maddy and myself and tried to minimize exposure to moderate sized slide run out zones. There are obvious scar marks on the trees on the opposite side of the valley from big climax avalanches, so it had an ominous feeling to it. The west ridge of Cook is punctuated with this nice looking couloir that also has a reasonably large amount of hangfire above it.
We made it up to the moraine quickly and chilled in the sun again. Getting onto the glacier there was a bit of funk with a lot of flat light. The slab was pretty well bonded to the snow below, so we figured it was 'eh' okay, eh. One other thing about this valley, it seems to be in a rain shadow and gets wind hammered. So there are lots of rocks and lots of exposed blue ice on the glacier.
Up higher there's another cool looking couloir off the west sub-summit of Cook.
Then you get a nice view of Sunset Couloir
And then a nice view of the summit couloir off of Cook
Cool light on the Pemberton Icefield
We hit the Weart-Moe col and gaped at the Owls and the north face of Weart. Rad.
It was late and we had just come for touristing, so we made the cruisy ski back down to camp in some variable snow
Tantalus in some evening light
The next day we slept in. It was fairly chilly and this campsite doesn't get sun until late in the day. So we lounged about and made coffee and melted snow for the day. It's pretty efficient skinning up through this valley and although we started late we were up at the Weart-Moe col pretty quickly. We skied down towards the Wedge Glacier on some fun creamy pow.
Eureka Couloir that Gobin and Olek skied in February. Ima jealous.
Zee Owls Couloir
Maddy infront of an Oasis
I was eyeing up the Owls Couloir, but it seemed ambitious since Maddy was feeling so crappy. So we decided to skin back up and go check out the Sunset Couloir.
The snow was pretty good. Up high it was variable, but down low it was all pow. Maddy nearing the top.
The top was moderately steep, but the snow was highly variable. It switched between breakable crust and windblown pow and each turn was a surprise.
But the bottom was all good
After that we went back to camp and chilled in the sun again. More coffee and napping later we packed up and glided back to the car. Damn this approach is nice. I'd like to go back and do all these couloirs. Or! Do a Wedge, Parkhurst, Rethel day followed by a Eureka, Owls, Weart, Cook, Cook, Cook MEGA day! Any takers?
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