Friday was full of planning, meetings and paying my dues so I could go out and play again this weekend. The light density snow, light winds and forecasted sun was enough to drag me back to the Duffey Lake Road.
The day began with a wake up call that the faint of heart could not endure. Beating the normal Whistler crowd up the highway and making the stop at Mt. Currie Coffee Company kept the stress level low. The coffee shop was full of excitement with many Vancourites making the trip up to take advantage of a rare December weather window.
With no set destination and trying to avoid crowds we headed into the Cayoosh drainage. The views from this valley are outstanding. After a brief discussion we set our sights on Million Dollar Couloir. This was a lofty goal considering the potential trail breaking and short days. As we approached we saw the remants of a massive slide on the North Side of Cayoosh and we quickly switched modes to pounding as much vert as possible.
We checked the snow before we ventured into the open. The noted surface hoar layer was unreactive to tests. We confirmed the forecast of moderate avalanche conditions and set up for some great laps on the mountain.
Though we didn’t end up accomplishing our goal for the day we did manage to ski almost 1200m with the short December days. With light fading we made a quick dash for one more lap knowing full well it would mean a dark skin to the car.
A uneventful 800m rip to the valley floor brought smiles to our faces. December is a challenging month for skiing with short days, continuous storms and challenging stability conditions. That is what makes days like this so special. Dreaming already of my next pow day!