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Fun skiing in the Sky Pilot group area
Timestamp Free: 2018.09.23 - 19:20:20
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 1000m
Participants: Manouane Deschenes and Sean Michel
Difficulty: 3: Easy access with marked trail until the end of the valley. The Skypilot valley trail is possibly exposed to avalanches from above. Route finding is pretty straight forward with good visibility.
From the Gondola exit, follow the Shannon Basin trail. Then join the Skypilot valley trail until you arrive at the foot of the mountain. Climb through trees directly at the end of the valley.
We chose this area due to ease of access, interesting terrain, snow quality and lack of crowds. However I feel that there is a specific window of opportunity that is during December for this area to be accessible with such ease. Good snow coverage at the Summit Lodge, groomed double track trail to the skin track and creek coverage on the skin track makes this trip a super sweet mellow access. We skate skied without skins to the intersection of the Shannon basin trail and the Skypilot valley trail. We put skins on at the signpost. It took about an hour of casual hiking to get to the steep treed area that forms the winter access ramp to the skiable terrain above. There was a thoughtfully established skin track there (BONUS!) with nice grade and none of the battling suffered in the Duffey Lake area. We skied a few runs around the north west facing slopes at tree line.
We spotted a really appealing couloir facing south east off the long bumpy ridge line of Mt Habrich. It does not really see a lot of sun during the low sun angle month of December and it seems like a one of a kind descent. It's on the bucket list for next time. If the weather holds. I wonder if this couloir has a name, it should.
[photo]UnknownCouloir.jpg[caption]Unknown couloir, does it have a name?[/photo]
We enjoyed a casual mostly downhill return on the skin track and a light skate ski/skin to the gondola. A "non epic"* day with views, good turns and rewarding exploration.
*: yes you BCMC people know what an "epic" is... and it's fun not to have one time and...
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