“Just finished the first component of ski touring with the Mountain Skills Semester Course. I could have not asked for a better group of people to be with out in the back country. The week started of with a fun day of skiing at sunshine to refine our ski technique and then moved very quickly into developing the necessary skills required to venture into the wild wilderness country of the Canadian Rockies (Back Country) It was a privilege and a ton of fun to work with an enthusiastic group of keen students, I forgot that I was at work! That’s when I know we’re on the right path.
After a day of avalanche awareness at Bow Summit, learning how to properly use avalanche equipment, develop good travel habits through avalanche terrain and crack the jar of a large topic ‘Snow Assessment’, we spent a day trip planning and packing for a two night winter camping ski tour behind Sunshine Meadows towards Healy Pass.
Then the fun began. Not one of the students had ever winter camped, but all were super excited to do it. The next three days between having fun, fun and more fun, were filled with educational lessons and discussion on evaluating and interpreting avalanche hazards and terrain. So that we could go back to the fun, fun and more fun of skiing it! We are off to Rogers Pass next week to continue the experience and I look forward to partaking in the experience as their leader/friend.
Nick Rapaich, Yamnuska Guide”
What the students had to say:
POW POW POWDER! Roger’s Pass was epic! Cold smoke and bluebird skies… Despite the pine marten invasion of our food stocks, the five-day trip to Roger’s Pass was definitely the highlight of the ski touring section. With our guides Stevie B. and Nick Rapaich, we practiced avalanche safety skills and improved our winter camping. However, when presented with the option of skiing or learning to build snow cave shelters, we quickly learned that the proper response was, “Forget snow caving… Let’s go skiing!” Fat, gnarly turns were laid down on Young’s Peak and the Dome glacier as we floated over pillow-soft freshies. Although Yam subscribes to the Leave No Trace ethic, we left tracks all over the Asulkan Valley, at least until the next blizzard delivered another slice of heaven. Roger’s Pass, we salute you!
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