Backcountry skiing (Alpine touring) 5:00:00  13.2 km (22:44 / km) +700m 17:58 / km
Parked at the summer trail parking alongside the road. Then had a 600-700 metre glide slightly downhill along the snow-covered shoulder to get to the summer trail. Going a little further than the first drop down allows you a more gradual traverse down the initial slope. The summer trail was good; a little easier than where we went in from Hector Viewpoint last year. I would take the summer trail again. It was worth leaving the skins off until you reach the creek but you could do either. Coverage was already pretty good. Once we were down at the creek we had to do a few detours to avoid open water. The lake crossing was frozen enough but did have open water on both sides in the distance. This was the same last year, later in the season. Maybe bring some cord next time, just in case.
Didn’t traverse as far left toward the far drainage this time on our up track; headed upward a bit earlier. Next time, I think I would traverse further like we did last time.
Cold at the car (-22C) but it got quite warm as we got higher up on our south facing climb. This was my biggest concern going into the day. The snow/facets on the skin track were a little slippery in spots, even with grippy nylon skins. I did a little hasty hand pit and had some sort of junky sugary snow on top of even more sugary lower down, with one crust layer about 35 cm down. Yay, a nice upside down stack of junk on top of junkier. Figured it would ski well and fortunately stability was good. That said, a hand shear test failed at ground. I was surprised the column had enough cohesion to hold together and fail at ground as an entire column. Decided to try a run off the north side. Skiing was decent but there were sharks rocks in several places. The pitch made you want to go for it but instead you had to be ready to swerve or stop. I mostly went for it and had good luck plus dodging and hopping a few things. Had a decent run. Back up again and then started the long trip down. With a large mixed group, we knew it would take a while. There is a lot of tight forest to ski through. Peter and I nailed a great exit line last year so we led the group to it but it is still tight and advanced, and even more challenging with less snow this early in the season. Had a fun run down with a bunch of good open turns up high followed by lots of quick tight turns around regrowth in a slide path but felt bad about how much the others might not enjoy it. They weren’t too horribly far behind and everyone was still in a good mood when we got to the lake and the open space. The light started getting a little dim about half an hour after we got to the cars.
In conclusion it was a bit early in the season to go for this objective but it was still an enjoyable day out for everyone.