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A Winter Retreat to Portia Peak
Timestamp Free: 2018.03.20 - 14:56:04
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades
  (2 days)
Participants: Justin Brown and Nancy Mickelson An easy to moderate ski tour in winter. A pleasant ridge walk in summer.
A relaxing and enjoyable traverse on skis and snowshoes onto a seldom visited summit in the Needle Peak backcountry of the Coquihalla Region.
So... here we were in the dog days of late fall and with a stint of clear and pleasant weather in the midst of an otherwise stormy month, Nancy and I would set out for a little mountain therapy. I wanted to choose a destination that was both pleasant and remote yet safe in terms of avalanche danger. Somewhere where we could relax and enjoy after a busy week of hustling and bustling. I was also interested in checking out some friendly ski terrain for future use as Nancy plans on trying out backcountry telemark skiing for her first time this season.

I had spent the previous few days ski touring around the Coquihalla Mountain area and from there, looking northwest, I could see some pleasant terrain around Needle Peak and The Flatiron with high, snow covered ridges dropping southwestward toward a small isolated summit called Portia Peak. This looked like a nice, remote little outing and would be our planned trip for the next few days. It was a Saturday in the early afternoon and, after a run to MEC to rent some snowshoes for Nancy, we departed my home in Coquitlam for the Coquihalla Region. Doing the usual detour through Hope, we pitstopped at the Blue Moose Cafe for excellent paninis and a couple of coffees; some last minute body fuel for the days ahead.

We arrived at the Zopkios Ridge Exit just before the Coquihalla Highway tollbooth at around 3pm and parked at the rest area across the highway from the sand sheds. I've parked at the sand sheds before but never for longer than a day. Although it could be okay to park there for a few days, there is a sign reading ""No Unauthorized Entry"" so I decided not to take the chance.

 As we entered the forest near the trailhead, we were pleasantly surprised to find the ground nicely covered(about 50cm) with snow. Crunch,...

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