Sunday, January 12, 2014

Photoset from Whitsler, Joffre Lakes

Finding turns in the Joffre Lakes Basin
I celebrated my birthday last weekend with a three-day trip to SW British Columbia, continuing the elusive 2013-14 search for powder snow.  We caught a great day at Blackcomb with 6-10" of fresh snow on top of a very firm base, with clear skies and amazing views.  The masses were stoked!  The next day, we explored the backcountry around Joffre Lakes and found a thin layer of windbuffed powder on top of a very thin, crusty snowpack with lots of exposed rocks.  In a NE facing basin at the height of winter, the light was tough, but I got a few shots of the peaks across the valley and some half decent images in the shade.  The temps were really cold - around 15 deg F - and we had to hike out because of the low snowpack, but we managed to log some mileage on our old-man legs.  On our drive back to Portland, we stopped in at Squamish and checked out the nesting bald eagles down by the Squamish River - so cool!  Coastal BC is drop-dead gorgeous and only a few short hours from Oregon - go check it out! 

Prepping to unload the Crystal Express on a powder day

Winter light on the Blackcomb Glacier with the Husume Couloir dopping down from the prominent col

The morning approach to Joffre Lakes in very thin conditions

Nice winter light on the hills around Joffre Peak

The skin across Upper Joffre Lake with Mt. Slalock

Skinning up the bony moraine above Upper Joffre Lake with Cayoosh Mtn in the background

The sun made a low arc over the horizon, lighting up the surrounding hillsides but leaving us in shade

Nate Tack bootpacking up a short slope in search of turns with the Matier Glacier overhead

Jaime Bohle dropping into some windbuffed pow above Upper Joffre Lake

Nate Tack clearing a little chute above Upper Joffre Lake

Looking into the chute from above - fun tight turns on good snow

Cool shadows and winter light on Upper Joffre Lake with Cayoosh Mountain in the background

Water ice and powder turns!

A good days' work.  It was pretty bony back there, but we had a good time and made the most of less than ideal conditions.

The Squamish River

If you look closely, you can see the white of the eagle's head and tail where it sits perched in the tree

Two bald eagles on the banks of the Squamish River

Rock, river and mountain

There were lots of cool ducks!  Here's a shot of really pretty Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) in flight

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