Backcountry skiing (Alpine touring) 3:00:00  11.0 km (16:22 / km) +800m 12:00 / km
Surprise Pass with Peter, Carbon, Woody and Melissa.
Met at 7:30, skiing before 9:00.
About 4 hours total including stops, transitions, spreading out and regrouping.
Such a beautiful tour and a fun adventure, it was new for the girls and they really liked it.
Parked in the lower parking lot so that you don’t have to climb back up to the car after.
No wind at Saddleback Pass, really nice. I might have been interested in trying a lap on Saddle, but we wanted to get to the top of Surprise Pass before noon due to the forecasted warm day and the climb being south facing. Caught a group of three at the saddle, chatted and passed them. Wrapping around the southwest shoulder of Fairview Mountain (the most exposed spot we wanted to get through before it got too sunny or warm), we got this done nice and early. Then, as we were going one at a time and doing a downhill traverse on the last crux slope, one of the three from the other group skied across just above me to pass me..... WTF? And when I looked back to see if the rest of her group was coming or was waiting their turn, I saw that she was on her own.WTF? Showing that she was as fast as us, and leaving her group behind?
Dropped down further and left to move away from the wall on the right and travel on top of the rise in the drainage. Then up to the foot of Surprise Pass where we took off the skis and boot packed up (the skinning was a little tricky as the surface snow was shearing off, and there were already good steps punched in). Woody and Melissa hadn’t bootpacked before, so this was cool and fun.
Down the other side there were some tracks and a thin layer of soft snow on top of a layer that it would slide out on. Folks managed to get down okay. I found some snow on the left that provided for some fun turns and called people over. A long run, people were a little tired at the bottom.
Skied the last section out on the tracks. At the bottom we saw some ice climbers on Louise Falls, the falls were in really good shape. A beautiful day with views of the Chateau and the resort as we skied across the lake. Didn’t put skins on and it worked out fine to pole or skate across the flat lake with its wide trail from all the walkers. Lots of tourists out checking out paradise... where we live ;). Met Peter’s buddy Jeff who works at the Chateau and grooms the xc trails.
Cookies back at the car, baked by Melissa. Changed boots and went back to the Alpine Social bar at the Chateau for a fun drink (spiced pineapple homemade soda) and hang out.
Still had the cough (still!) at the beginning of the day, but did feel a little healthier when I woke up this morning than other days.