Better Late Than Never: Early Spring Slackcountry Pictures and Words

Spring has to be my favourite time of year to ski. It’s funny really, because growing up in Calgary I always thought of it as the the indecisive, slushy ugly duckling of the seasons. There will be annoying ruts in your street. The sun will come out for just long enough to melt things, and because it did, tomorrow it will all freeze in formations that would leave Dr. Seuss shaking his head. You may consider wearing your crampons to work. Skiing in the immediate area will be impossible, though the bike trails remain in a state distinguishable from soft serve ice cream only by taste. In the city, spring means you can’t do anything. In B.C.’s Dogtooth range on the other hand, it makes for the best conditions of the season. Spring in the mountains tends to mean that, if the stars align you can do just about whatever you want. 

Before it closed up for the season, I had a few perfect days in the Kicking Horse slackcountry. Much to my excitement, I got to enjoy a few of the easily accessed big lines that the area is known for in amazing snow, even weeks after the last storm.  I’m not exactly the skinsuit clad, power gell swilling “feel the burn” type, so the easy, mostly lift served approach to the backcountry provided by the Golden Eagle Express gondola gets me pretty fired up.

The view from up here doesn't suck either

The view from up here doesn’t suck either (Cam Stuchly photo)

Though the approach to the goods is dead easy, they never disappoint. The lines are big, steep and largely untouched if you have the knowledge to take a step or two off the beaten path.

Ready to drop in. Skiers left chute ends in an awful lot of rock, so after a few committed turns the line exits stage right over the spine

Ready to drop in. Skiers left chute ends in an awful lot of rock, so after a few committed turns the line exits stage right over the spine

Surfing some turns out of the spine while my slough heads down to make a waterfall over the exposure

Surfing some turns out of the spine while my slough heads down to make a waterfall over the exposure

I realize that it’s been a while since I updated this blog. That’s my bad. I meant to, I really did but somehow I just never got around to it until now. I hope you enjoy this little update while I work on a bigger, better one that will get the recap of the second half of my season out of the way and give some hints as to what I plan on getting up to in the future. Also, if you’re after more of my good friend Cam’s amazing photographs or the one in this post in a usable size, get in touch with me through my contact tab. Cheers!

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One response to “Better Late Than Never: Early Spring Slackcountry Pictures and Words

  1. Pingback: Pretty Much the Entire Rest of My Season | Matt Ruta·

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