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"Dropping In" to Gin and Tonic # 4604

Below is a description of the photograph you were looking for, and the circumstances surrounding the photo.
Date: 2000.02.14
Vantage Point: Next in line!

Caption: The area around Mt. Sproatt, west of Whistler, is noted for its deep snowpack and lack of tracks. Here John "drops in" on an untracked 40 degree line. Gin Lake below.

PhotoDescr: Heavy snowfall and the promise of sun pulled us out of bed early with the objective of hitting some untracked lines off the Hanging Valley Route west of Mt. Sproatt. After some serious trailbreaking, we were on top in perfect conditions--fine crisp temperatures and bottomless powder.

After checking avalanche conditions, our only concern was which way to drop off the ridge. As the sun had had an opportunity to warm up the eastern aspects to -15C, we chose the western slopes. A series of fine chutes and drops lead off the west side of an intervening ridge to Gin and Tonic Lakes below. Old forest fires have thinned the forest a little, and there are clean lines straight down.

The snow was untracked and seriously deep where winds had not touched it. The northerly outflow had piled snow deep on the western aspects, and as we dropped off into the lee, the snow was waist deep. As our confidence in the snowpack increased, we had ample opportunities to hit some of the steeper bluffs and chutes a little further north along the ridge. Needless to say, perhaps, but we did a few laps of the slope on this fine day.

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