Getting to the Wedge Massif would take an extra 2 hrs. of touring only to get lines that were actually smaller than the ones right in front of us. We set up in the shadow of Mt. Moe, building a robust camp that would keep us sheltered from the brisk west wind and temperatures that went down to -15c.
This was the line that was the most striking and the biggest surprise for all of us, the Northeast Face of the Owls.
I skied from the top but dropped down the south side of the East ridge, re-entering the face below the big hanging apron. Kye and Matty attacked the line straight on, shredding the big hanger and dropping the entire 550m of 50 degree vertical relief in one fluid rip.
I’m quite certain this face has been skied before but I would have serious doubts that anyone has ridden this exposed hanging wall creating a true full descent of this face.
From the base of The Owls, we made our way up the west arm of the Weart Glacier to the Weart / Cook col above the spectacular Armchair Glacier. From here it was a quick tour to the summit of Mt. Cook and the top of the Cook Couloir. Back in 95 I had made the first descent of the Cook Couloir with Pete Mattson and Darryl White. Trevor was going to come on that trip but ended up having to do a last minute photo shoot with Eric Pehota. Trevor was always a little uneasy with being a big star.For him there had to be a balance, he called it his formula for success. The time he spent in front of the camera had to create an economy of mountain time. He weighed true success by being on skis and mountain time. If he was going “posing” it had to produce quality mountain time somewhere down the road for him or he wouldn’t do it. To stand on top of this line 18 years later with Trevor’s son is incredible.
Day two would see our friend the Bluebird replaced by his cousin the Poohbird. We headed for the Owl Couloir where we would get some measure of visibility within the rocks.
Although it snowed several centimetres, the greenhouse effect created by the cloud was disturbing. Kye called it hot pow. The lower slope had heated up considerably and we were really close to pulling the pin but 1/2 way up it changed back to winter conditions and the 55 degree line shredded beautifully.
By midnight the pooh was all cleaned up and by dawn it was again clear and cold with a dusting of fresh pow, providing perfect conditions for our last day and the North Face of Weart Mtn.
After riding the North face of Weart we had to stuff camp back into our packs and make the slog out to our pick up, making our 6pm rendezvous with 15 minutes to spare.
This trip was so amazing. For me to shred in these peaks on these lines with Kye was a blessing. It felt like the mountains were giving me a gift, or perhaps a reward for the patience. All the tears and the time that we have missed Trevor soooo much. I feel like I got to ski with him again. He is so stoked and so proud. Me too. Watching Kye and Matty shred those big lines with such speed, grace and fluidity I had a first row seat watching the progression of our sport. How far it has come and where it’s going.
As my life transitions into less time Ski Mountaineering and more Ski Manufacturing, I know that with guys like Kye and Matty around Big Mountain Shredding in the Coast mountains of B.C. is in good hands. Indeed.
Foonskis website: http://www.foonskis.com/