One bloody toe, sore feet, and one ugly blister are a sign my liners need to be replaced, yet I still can’t stop smiling. The past two weeks have seen some major storms pound coastal BC and thankfully has left us with both a stable and deep snow pack.
Today’s excursion took inspiration from some guys who are fully going after it on the Coquihalla (Yaar traverse – Yak, Nak, Thar badass!). We headed out for some more exploration. This time was Bombtram Mountain which is neither for the faint of heart or high avalanche forecast conditions. Hitting this run in December was feeling stellar as we left Vancouver in the dark and were ready at the trail at 8:30am. It was going to be a long day.
Slowly we made our way up the mountain encountering some terrain and trail breaking challenges (coastal micro-terrain bullsh!t is the official name for such challenges). The snow was silky and smooth the whole way up which ignited the ski engines. The last few years have been really challenging on the coast. Our snowpack trends showed weak persistent layers and limited our terrain selection on an almost weekly basis. It was hard seeing red lights on the avalanche forecast every week. This year is different: the pack is strong and deep. It is allowing some motivated individuals to get after lines all over the coast very early.
Not another skier in sight.. in 4 hours and 1100m of climbing, we finally made it to our destination. An added run bonus, we dropped into a sweet little chute to keep us sharp before we rolled on the 1000m of powder dreaminess The sun peaked out just as we began to drop in. Thankfully, no requirement to ski-by-brail today.
1000m of perfect boot top powder led us to our exit. This is the crux of the Bombtram route. You must exit through a steep gully. Not sure whether we hit the right one (even with help from the GPS and topo) we found ourselves in a spicey predicament which required a recruitment of all our rock skills to get down. Thankfully only the worst of this narrow waterfall-ice laden-rock cliff was two tears on the softgear and a bruised hip. With the light quickly fading, we made it back to the truck just in time with smiles and a great adventure had.
Tossing the skis = Gear Abuse. Wish I had a rope to clear the sketchy top section. Bombtram Mountain is not an area to take lightly as the gully exit is tricky to find. There are numerous gullies and proper navigation is essential. Even Box Canyon itself is a serious debris field that requires special attention and route selection. But the rewards are high for those will to make the effort.