Backcountry skiing (100eight) 4:30:00  13.0 km (20:46 / km) +1375m 13:35 / km
Begbie Shoulder with Courtney, Russ, Vikki, Tom and Atsuko. Lots of logging this winter due to high lumber demand so lots of roads being kept open. Figured we'd take advantage of one of these roads on a Sunday when there is not likely to be traffic. Avoiding the Pass on a weekend also seemed like a good idea. I was a bit worried about the approach through some newer blocks and it certainly required a little bush bashing (both up and down - the road option might be better but it is longer). I was also worried about the possibility of cliffs on the way up and we certainly found lots of rocks. There is an interesting fracture part way up the cut-block (should have stayed on the climber's left). The route we took certainly went up some steep sections and was good kick turn practice. Gaining the ridge was tricky due to a rock band right near the top. Climber's right would work better. First run down worked OK - a couple steeper bits, one rock fracture to sneak through, then some lumpy sections in the cutblock. The second run was much better in terms sustained and smooth pitch. Snow was great on both though. The bottom of the gully was OK to ski out. Going below the ski road looked unpleasant. Good skiing and fun exploration but probably a few too many challenges to make this a regular destination (plus the usual 4 km of road would be a turn off).