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Summer Skiing on Diamond Head
Timestamp Free: 2020.01.18 - 22:28:10
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (1 days) Moderately steep slopes
A late season ski trip along the Elfin Lakes trail then across saddle between Gargoyles and Columnar Pk
Early summer is the time when there is still too much snow for easy hiking and too little or too far away to make skiing worthwhile. There are of course exceptions, like Mt Baker and there is Diamond Head. When you drive to Squamish the slopes of Diamond Head are usually unbroken snow when Garibaldi is already mostly bare rock.

When I arrived at the parking lot I heard a grouse whooping. Usually you hear them in early spring when you travel over snow. So I hoped it was a sign that snow was not far. But I had to carry my skis about an hour through lush green forest before I found the first patches and parked my sandals behind a tree and booted up. Then it soon became continuos enough to put on the skins, ski over a few bare spots and bypass others off the road. Above the shelter I could leave the road for good and soon it became invisible.

There was only one problem: Suncups! They were already very large and made walking definitely awkward. Still, just below the highpoint I passed some hikers, so skiing was faster after all. To my surprise, skiing downhill was actually easier. Putting my weight evenly on both skis and sitting back a bit I skimmed over the holes and grooves where while walking the tips would catch sometimes. Even turning was not too difficult, I didn't crash even once. Of course it was a rough ride and more strenuous than skiing smooth slopes.

About 2/3 of the way between highpoint and Elfin Lakes I dropped north down from the road to the meadows west of the shelter. It was not an ideal route. In one place I had to cross a short stretch of very steep forest, but once in the clearing it was straight forward to the saddle below the hut.

As I approached the saddle between the Gargoyles and Columnar Pk. for a late lunch I was wondering wether I...

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