Bring On the Cold!

Now that I have some free time I’m enjoying some snow and cold in a different setting!  Went out with the Monod‘s bunch, an eclectic mix of nationalities that work at the ski and mountaineering store in Banff. It sounds like the beginning of a joke:  A Canadian, an Australian, a Brit and a German all go out skiing…IMG_0277

Above:  Vee, Drew and I traversing from the summit of Whitehorn II across to the chutes.  We waited quite a while for the clouds to lift in order to make the descent possible.  Without good visibility it can be pretty awful so we’re making a dash for it while the light holds.  Mt Richardson on the right.Whitehorn

Above:  We skied a line down from the apex of the summit  down the chute to the right of the prominent spine feature in the middle.IMG_0278

Above:  The lens rarely captures steepness but this may be an exception.  At centre skyline, a very tiny Vee and Drew are rock paper scissoring to see who goes next while I take a breath.  Good deep snow that was fairly light but with a slight sculpted wind affect on the surface.  We were all smiles on the way down.Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 7.54.56 PM

Above: Vee skied her whole life in the Alps and grew up in Garmish-Partenkirchen, home of the German Alp’s highest peaks.  It’s always a treat to see such great skiing up close as she made this steep descent look like drinking a milkshake!  A great day with cooperative weather and fine snow.

By coincidence, this descent is part of the course for this year’s Ken Jones Ski Mountaineering race.  I’ve decided to enter this year.  In the Enduro category I’m entering, competitors will climb up and ski down three mountains and then ski out the Skoki valley to the finish line at Lake Louise.  The concept of ski mountaineering as a race runs counter to my entire approach to climbing and skiing.  Pace is usually determined for you by the mountain, the weather, your objectives, and your partners.  But in a one-time race setting it will be fun I think to put the pedal down and go hard all day for kicks (and try not to be last!)

My category is below the elite category so most of my group will have some comradery to it I think.  The regulations explain that you are obligated to help a fellow competitor in need, so the reality of touring seems to trump a first to the line mentality which is how I would have it.

I have to enter- look how cool the poster is!

KenJones2013

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