Cerise Creek Backcountry Ski Tour BC
this was my first real backcountry ski tour in british columbia. and by that i mean it didn’t involve lifts at whistler/blackcomb… and i couldn’t have asked for better tour guides than my crew of norm hann, adventure guide and college basketball coach and jen segger-gigg, professional adventure racer and endurance bad ass.
this ski day started very different than any backcountry ski tour i’ve ever done. it started as a “coffee shop tour”.. or “tour de coffee” as seegs called it. a coffee in seeg’s neighborhood of brackendale (this place is awesome) and then we were off to pemberton (north past whistler). not to ski.. well not quite yet. we hit the most amazing “brecky” joint for some pre ski fuel… then our second coffee shop for americanos all around… then we were off to ski! notice i didn’t mention the names of said coffee shops. it was either i swear to keep them a secret, or i would have been blind folded the entire morning… hence the intentional non-disclosure.
the ski tour was called cerise creek, and that is where we started. about an hour into the tour the sun came out causing uncontrolable giggles of excitement and instant stripping of clothes down to our base layers. our ultimate goal was a col off vantage peak at the foot of anniversay glacier that norm had on his mind. as we skinned up out of the woods we were greeted with amazing views of mount joffre. we were traveling in the lillooet range, which is a subunit of the coast range. amazing jagged peaks and unlimited backcountry ski touring options. a virtual playground. i made a promise to myself to thoroughly explore these mountains ~ in both seasons.
with norm charging up front at his “easy” pace, jen and i hussled to keep up. jen’s a long time snowboarder now converting to the ski touring lifestyle of earning your turns. i was pretty impressed with how quickly she’s become a backcountry skier. it doesn’t hurt that her husband is an ex professional freeskier and whistler freeskiing coach. speedy, fit and now powered by nuun, norm was on his 21st day in the backcountry on skis. this was just my 2nd this season and it showed.. but of course no one cared ~ we were still faster than anyone else there!
after climbing up near the col we decided for a bit different route and climbed 3/4 of the way up a big, partly wind blown ridge. our first turns were incredible… i mean.. absolutely insane knee deep and light. i thought our late start would have allowed the sun to make the snow heavy like the oh too familiar cascade cement. not the case. it was super light and fluffy. how could this get better? after a short skin back up another little knob the second run was some of my best turns ever… everything was in sync. the snow was buttery, my turns felt effortless and smooth and there was no avy danger on my mind. just me and my endorphins.
wanting more, but not wanting to skin out in the dark we decided it was time to head back through the maze of trees.. trying to keep our speed without killing ourselves.
and finally… all the photos.. phew.