Northern British Columbia - Burnie Glacier by Pictures
Lee Lau and his friends booked a week with us at Burnie Glacier Chalet in March 2019. We had exceptional spring conditions and enjoyed some incredible tours up in the high glaciers ...
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Burnie Glacier, January 2019

People ask me a lot, when’s the best time to go ski touring at Burnie Glacier Chalet? The answer is easy — any time. From December until May this place delivers amazing ski touring experiences.

Of course, every season has its unique nuances. In December and January I love the light of this high latitude ski zone; the sun is filtered and muted as it struggles to shine across the horizon.  Yes, days are shorter but of course in the early season when legs have yet to harden to a day of ski touring for most people, it’s not a bad thing to have to head home by 3:30 pm!

Here’s a selection of photos from this year’s January trip. We were actually able to complete the seldom-done Polemic Pass circuit, which might have been the earliest it’s ever been done successfully. We also made it to the top of Middle Solitaire, Loft Peak and Solitaire Ski peak and skied off the back side of Tom George. So even in January there’s much to be done with the right group and the right conditions — but the same can be said about any other month of the year!

In the ...
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Ice Climbing in Field

This winter I got to take out three of my favourite kids ice climbing: Ruth, Rohan and Slade. Here’s a collection of photos of our adventures together!

Our first day was in Field, BC at a great little  lesser-known crag called Waterworks. Second day was spent at Canmore’s famous Junkyards: more popular and more crowded but still a good time.

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The Gruvelagert Restaurant - Svalbard Fine Dining

What’s dinner at the Gruvelageret like? Well, probably worth the visit to Svalbard all on its own!

We drove up a narrow winding snow-covered road to find an old wooden shack  – the Gruvelageret, or “Mine Storage” – perched on the mountainside below menacing avalanche paths. It looked closed. No tracks in the snow outside the building, dark inside, front door locked. It was about 10 minutes past 6 pm, and they “open” at 6 pm. We knocked on the door, no answer. Then Sally saw a movement inside… we tried the other door and heard a voice in Norwegian calling out. I opened the door to the kitchen and saw one of the cooks busy with his hands in a big bowl; he confirmed that the restaurant was open and urged us to try the front door again. We were greeted by the troubled-looking hostess who asked if we’d called for a reservation (we had tried to call earlier but the message was in Norwegian). After a bit of negotiation she went to check with the cooks and confirmed that if we were OK with waiting 90 minutes they would prepare our fixed menu meal. No problem — the dining ...
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2019 Rembrandt Ski & Sail Slideshow and Photos

Our first Ski & Sail this season was on the s/v Rembrandt van Rijn. It’s a fine boat, about 50 m long with space for 33 passengers and 10 crew. We shared the charter with another group of snowshoers. This made for slightly more complicated logistics, but with two zodiacs and the competent direction of the expedition leader Phil Wickens everything went very smoothly.

I guided this trip with my colleage Larry Stanier. Larry and I have known each other for many years, and worked together on the Mountain Conditions Report Committe from its earliest days and humblest beginnings. Yet this is the very first time Larry and I have ever guided together. I really enjoyed working with him. Everything went smoothly despite the fact we exchanged just a small handful of emails about this logistically complicated trip, and despite the fact that Larry had never been to Svalbard before. Larry rolls with the curve balls of these international trips with ease, and no surprise: this season alone he was also ski guiding in Japan (twice) as well as Greenland and Iceland!

During the land based pre-sail touring days in Longyearbyen we had the pleasure of meeting up with ...
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2019 Noorderlicht Photo Album
Svalbard has spectacular scenery, massive tumbling glaciers, and abundant wildlife. It also has innumerable, perfect ski peaks rising from the sea that make for some of the best skiing anywhere ...
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2019 Noorderlicht Ski & Sail Slideshow
Svalbard has spectacular scenery, massive tumbling glaciers, and abundant wildlife. It also has innumerable, perfect ski peaks rising from the sea that make for some of the best skiing anywhere ...
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JaPOW - Jan 25-31, 2020
Five spots left - book now!
Japan has formed a legendary reputation for deep powder skiing in January and February. The saying "Don't Leave Powder to Find Powder" is common in western Canada - why leave Canada when we have the best skiing in the world? Well, Japan is a strong contender, and when you add the incredible cultural experience to the mix it rises to the top of any serious skier's bucket list ...
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DSC03572

Well I got back last week from an incredible week at Burnie Glacier Chalet. Incredible in many ways — snow quality overall not being one of them. For the first time in my experience with Burnie in January we had a brief but powerful warm spell — on the first day of the trip — where temps went above zero all the way to mountain top with rain. Then it froze and was cold for the rest of the week. It was clear for most of the week, but still — rugged skiing!

So the incredible part was actually the group. A lot of people get grumpy when they travel so far to ski powder and it doesn’t live up to their expectations. But not these folks. They took up the challenge of Obermeyer’s famous quote “There is no bad snow, just different snow!” and made every day count. The clear weather and amazing fast travel made it possible even in the short days of January to cover some of our mega-classic tours like Polemic Pass — which usually doesn’t get done until March — and Middle Solitaire Peak. Yes, incredible! And the skiing, while different, was never impossible and ...
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Longyearbyen Webcam Photo

Our Ski and Sail trips to Svalbard this spring will enjoy around the clock sunlight in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Right now is a different story. Here’s a photo from noontime today, looking over the port town of Longyearbyen, where we’ll begin our Ski and Sail trips in May. You can just see a glimmer of light above the horizon as the sun, far to the south, struggles to light the sky at mid-day. Amazing!

Jan 16 webcam photo, Longyearbyen

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