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Christmas Gully Ski (Mount Strachan)
Timestamp Free: 2018.11.13 - 09:29:12
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Britannia Range
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 665m
Participants: Winifred Swatschek
Difficulty: 3: Steep skinning gaining the south summit of Strachan that might be avoidable if you go slightly to climbers right when it gets steep. Gully is an avalanche trap and creek may be exposed in places (deep holes).
Ski track for Christmas Gully in Cypress Provincial Park (Cypress Ski Resort) starting from 3B parking and returning via the HSCT.
"Christmas Gully" is the name given to the steep northwest gully which drops from the col between the two peaks of Strachan down to the Howe Sound Crest Trail (HSCT).

Ski from parking lot 3B, along the west side of Hollyburn along the Old Hollyburn Strachan Trail and up Mount Strachan to the gully between the north and south summits of Strachan; descend the gully to the Howe Sound Crest Trail (HSCT) and return to the resort ski area.

This is the second year where we have skied Christmas Gully on Christmas Eve. It's a nice short little tour for when you have evening plans with friends or family. Next time we'll include the summit of Hollyburn to add more turns.

As we were ascending the steep, icy section to the ridge/plateau of the south summit I spied an up track to climbers right. I wished I was over there as it looked mellow and not icy. Perhaps next time.

The skiing in the gully started well despite the heavy deep snow and was still great immediately below the hourglass funnel section. About halfway down, however, we encountered big deep holes of the exposed creek which made for some mindful navigation. Fortunately, no one fell in.

While it is possible to leave the skins off along the HSCT with some side stepping, the last two times involved a lot of side stepping and herringbones. For future trips I'll be putting on skins for the HSCT.

Once off the HSCT, a quick ski down to the ski resort base, a beer, and a short walk back to the car (or for some of us, a pick up by the Cypress Shuttle back to the...

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