Trip Report Feb 14-28, 2020
I was really looking forward to this trip: two weeks guiding beside one of my favourite mountain guides, Hansjorg Hofer, with two back to back groups of South Tyrolians. I met HH in 2010 when he brought a group of 12 clients to ski at Rogers Pass. The South Tyrolians are a lot of fun. They all grew up in the mountains and learn to ski tour right around when they learn to walk. They are confident, easy going, and incredibly fit. And they have some wonderful idiosyncracies. For example, at every break a bag of treats — usually dried fruit, such as figs, they have harvested from their gardens and dried at home — is passed around followed closely by a bottle of Schnapps. And at the top of every peak there’s a round of “Gruess Gott” where every man shakes ever other man’s hand, and every woman kisses — three times — the cheeks of every member in the group. Had I known that we were on the brink of a pandemic I may have been a bit more careful. But like all things, what you don’t know (probably) won’t kill you. I had the best time.
Over the course of two weeks HH and I logged over 30,000 vertical meters. For a bit of perspective, that’s about half the amount of skiing you would get in a standard two-week heliski package and yet we earned every turn through the sweat of our brows. We did some amazing tours, and were able to hit the high Telkwa over the Burnie Step twice. Pretty awesome!
Trip Report March 22-29, 2020
The last ski lodge trip of the season was at Burnie Glacier Chalet as well. Small — due to the fact that the majority of the group was from the US an unable to make it across the border — but excellent spring conditions prevailed. Here’s a link to the slideshow of the End Days of ski guiding in Western Canada, just as the pandemic took its hold in earnest.