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Ski Touring in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park
Timestamp Free: 2019.04.26 - 03:46:06
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Slocan Ranges / Kokanee Range
  (7 days)
Participants: Doug Brown, Sandra McGuinness, Murielle and Roland Perrin, Bert and Sue Port, Fred Thiessen and Emily, Vivien Bowers, Eric White, Ken and Rita Holmes Up to class 3
Among the ski touring crowd a visit to Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park in winter holds the same allure as visiting the Vatican for Catholics.
From the ridiculous to the sublime just about describes the new cabin (luxury hotel) that has replaced the old Chief Slocan hut in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. At 4,300 square feet, the "cabin" may just be bigger than your house, your neighbours' house, and even your neighbours' neighbours' house all put together. The cabin comes with plumbed in hot and cold water (sanitized with UV light), flush toilets, and a state of the art sewage treatment station. But don't get too comfortable, guests are urged not to flush the toilet after each use (a quaint sign in both washrooms urges you to "if it's yellow let it mellow - if it's brown flush it down") and there are no toilet seat lids so the washrooms get a little smelly, plus, that state of the art sanitation system is in the basement and the smell wafts all around the outside of the cabin - or the inside should you happen to open the windows. But, malodours aside, the surrounding terrain provides some of BC's best ski touring terrain. The following is a short summary of a ski week at the cabin in March 2004.

Day 1
Our helicopter flight into Kaslo Lake went smoothly, our group was well under our weight allowance and the weather was clear. The capable hut custodian/winter ranger, Dave, gave us an orientation to the cabin rules, and a brief rundown on the current snow conditions including the results of his recent snow profile and the current CAA avalanche bulletin. After lunch we visited the "beacon basin." In an open area near the heli-pad, 11 avalanche beacons are buried under the 2.5 metre snowpack each with a modest sized square of plywood above. A small plastic toolbox is plugged into a bunch of wires hanging from a tree and Dave flicks switches in the unit to turn on 4 of the 11 beacons. In two groups...

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