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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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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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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Selkirk Lodge Trip Report - Jan 5 to 12, 2019
The Selkirks have a great snowpack right now, with the recent problems of windslabs and the January 2 freezing rain layer well settled ...
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Riddle Glacier

The Alpine Club of Canada’s General Mountaineering Camps (GMCs) are a very old tradition, dating back to 1906 and the dawn of mountaineering inCanada. They have always been pretty big affairs, attracting mountaineers from all over. The first one, in Yoho Valley, attracted about 100 participants and was considered a good way to give people the credentials to become ACC members. Back then, you needed to have a resume to join the ACC, and a 10,000 ft peak had to be in there somewhere, so the GMC was a good, safe introduction to “General Mountaineering”, led by certified mountain guides from Austria and Switzerland.

The Alpine Club of Canada’s General Mountaineering Camps (GMCs) are a very old tradition, dating back to 1906 and the dawn of mountaineering inCanada. They have always been pretty big affairs, attracting mountaineers from all over. The first one, in Yoho Valley, attracted about 100 participants and was considered a good way to give people the credentials to become ACC members. Back then, you needed to have a resume to join the ACC, and a 10,000 ft peak had to be in there somewhere, so the GMC was a good, safe introduction to “General Mountaineering”, ...
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Dragonfly on the Wapta
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 ...
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