Dragonfly on the Wapta

Wapta Traverse

Jun 17-21, 2018

I know what you’re thinking — Tom, it’s summer… the Wapta traverse? Well it was a lot more pleasant than my experience 6 months ago leaving Bow Hut in the dark at 8:00 am with -35°C temps and clouds and wind. And the snow was pretty good too — from Sunday to Tuesday it was great spring ski touring conditions.


Sorcerer Lodge

April 21-28, 2019

Just back from a sensational week up at Sorcerer Lodge. Epic spring powder ski mountaineering for the first four days, then three days of backing off in the face of the big meltdown — but still excellent steep skiing with extra early starts and back to the lodge for beers by 1 pm, then noon, then 11 am!

Nirvana Pass Siva Glacier

Nirvana Pass Ski Camp 2018

March 9-15, 2018

This winter I ran a ski camp out of Nirvana Pass. Located just a short distance from Mount Waddington, Nirvana is a hybrid between Coast and Chilcotin terrain. The glaciers are massive and tumbling, but the relief is not as severe as the neighboring peaks. And, while there’s a ton of snow, it’s not as intense and the weather is generally better than further west.


Powder Day :: Burnie Glacier Chalet

That was my best powder day in years. We hit Tom George hard. Heavy trail breaking slowed things down but the ski quality… wow. Deep dry powder in -15° temps meant face shots every turn top to bottom. Nothing like 700 m tree runs with a beautiful lodge to warm up and refuel in between.

Solitaire Ski Peak

Solitaire Ski Peak :: Burnie Glacier Chalet

Yesterday a temperature inversion meant +1°C. This morning we woke to more snow and -4°C. Throughout the day the temperature has been dropping and by the time we returned from our day of skiing it was -14° with 10 cm new fluffy snow on the ground and still falling! Today we skied up the ultra classic Solitaire Ski Peak, which offers a 1200 m run directly back to the hut. Half the group, despite the challenging visibility, decided to do a hot lap on The Pinörkel, which one of the guests noticed strongly resembles the run down from Sapphire Col at Rogers Pass. Of course here there are no crowds, and no tracks in this vast wilderness apart from those left by our own group of 13.Another 20-30 cm in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Let it snow!

Molly welcomes the ski tourers back from their Day 1 companion rescue practice. Burnie Glacier Chalet

Exchange day at Burnie!

The weather cleared for an uneventful flight into the Chalet. Well not quite uneventful — after takeoff the passenger door on the A-Star popped open twice so we had to return for a quick repair. An inversion today meant -6° in a Smithers and +1° at the Chalet. Moist snow is forecast to freeze into a thin crust with tonight’s colder temperatures, -10° by breakfast!

Rectory Couloir

YVR stopover en route to Burnie Glacier

Today I’m flying to to Smithers for two weeks of skiing. In the past two weeks they’ve got well over 200 cm of storm snow and it’s forecast to keep coming down hard this week. High Avalanche hazard, storm, crazy amounts of snow! But I’m stoked, I’ve worked Burnie in all conditions and the beauty of the area is that it has always delivered a good week of skiing, every time. That’s saying something — I’ve skied and guided there almost every winter since 2004.

Des Poilus Glacier

Bow-Yoho Traverse

Dec 29-Jan 1, 2018

I completed a 4-day Yoho Traverse yesterday with a very hardy group of Saskatchewaners. We experienced very cold temperatures, ranging from -35C to -17C. Face protection in the form of buffs and goggles were essential at times, especially on the glaciers, and toe warmers helped keep things as comfortable as possible.