We’ve had a great start to the Winter here in Revelstoke, high snowfall through November and December coupled with prolonged cold temperatures have made for some excellent days skiing, and although 2016 has got off to a bit of a slow start snowfall wise, the cold alpine temperatures have made for a very stable snowpack with fresh tracks to be found for those who are willing to work for them.
Bluebird weather had been forecast for our excursion into the out of bounds bowls at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, but when we awoke early to start our day we were greeted with an overcast sky. Determined however, to make the most of things we continued with our initial plan to make the traverse from the top of the Stoke chair to Kokanee, the furthest South of the bowls on Mount MacKenzie, but upon reaching the top of the sub peak midway (known as the Goat Peak) we were forced to revise our plans as we poked out into the sun to see that we were on an island in an ocean of clouds and the steep open bowl of Kokanee was no longer an option.
We switched up our bindings for the decent out of the sun and caught some nice turns coming down through the trees into Monatan Bowl.
Now down in the gut of the bowl and with limited visibility, we decided to build a little kicker to try out some tricks into a nice steep powder landing.
With five to our party we quickly wasted the landing and sought to make use of the natural features around us in the bowl. There were a few cliffs and other hits dotted around the kicker we had built so we took it in turns to try various lines we could see between the trees.
The visibility slowly improved as we played in the bowl and after lunch Harlee and I skinned up onto the adjacent ridge line for some more pow turns before we called it a day. The snow here was well sheltered from the sun being directly North facing and low enough that the wind hadn’t had a chance to pack the snow in, so we were fortunate enough enjoy some awesome turns in the deeeeeep blower pow through the steep glades on the ridge.
I had been eyeing up a steep pillow line in a chute we call the hourglass for some time and with the good conditions I figured now was as good a time as any to tick it off the list.
I’ll admit my landing was a bit sketchy, but I’m going to blame that on the solid couple of seconds I was blinded by the white!
Stoked on our day, we followed the ‘fire line’, a snakey wee traverse back towards the resort boundary before descending a groomer to the village base for a well earned Caeser! We were fortunate enough to receive one final gift from the mountains on our ride out however as we spotted a baby owl chilling out close to our ski line.
All in all, another great day in the mountains… With cold temperatures set to continue and fresh snow in the forecast things can only get better!
With the temperature hovering around -8°C in the alpine, my Gore-Tex Norrøna Lofoten shell pants allowed me to regulate temperature of my lower half when things got warm on the move with their excellent ventilation down either flank and my insulated Røldal jacket kept me warm and dry when things slowed down. The Røldal in particular is a very nice piece of gear with lots of pocket space for goggles, cameras, etc.. and a cool urban design.