The Green Mountain Grind
Without any new snow for the preceding 4-5 days it was the right time to check out a new area with seemingly little touring traffic to search for some fresh Pow. Green Mountain is a huge mountain in the Penticton/Apex Alpine Area. The footprint of the mountain is much larger than most high elevation mountains in the Okanagan. Through researching online forums, by looking at the terrain in Google Earth, by talking to local ski-tour enthusiasts at the nearby ski area and by visually inspecting the different aspects from other peaks and vantage points I concluded that there must be (at least) some very good glade skiing near the summit.
We headed out fairly early in the morning on Saturday, 2-Jan at 0900. We managed to summit the mountain before 1100 by taking logging roads up most of the way and then by following a snowshoe track through the gladed forest at the top. The view from the summit was spectacular! We had a clear view of the Apex Resort and in the distance Mt.Baldy, Little White and Big White could be seen. Runs cut into the mountain at Silver Star could also be identified. It would be absolutely amazing to build a hut up top at the summit where one could overnight as a ski basecamp or for retreats or for whatever would float your boat... this would require a heli-drop of materials for sure.
From the top we explored one of the back bowls which I named (Kung-Fu Panda) Noodle Bowl. I name runs after movies, usually action movies unless a title can’t convey the characteristics of the run or bowl or glades. The snow on this East aspect was velvety smooth and the trees in the bowl were well spaced down to about 1980m. From this point we then skinned up to the summit and enjoyed the views and talked about future touring routes in the Noodle Bowl area.
Next we skied down the Sunshine Glades. These glades are fairly steep and face directly South. There were some icy spots where the snow had melted and fallen off the trees and frozen to the surface of the snow. However, overall the snow was untracked and there were unlimited routes through the trees until they became too closely spaced to ski through. Again we skied until approx. 1980m and then skinned back to the summit.
We then explored the area known as 'The Chutes' and found another bowl with excellent glades and ear marked it for another day of touring as it was getting late and we needed to begin our descent to the road.
In summary it was an excellent day of touring under a bluebird sky while the Okanagan Valley was blanketed in cloud. There are many routes from the summit of Green Mountain, check out the attached image of the Google Earth route for the tour and a pic of Noodle Bowl that I snapped during the day.
Stay warm and 'get at it while the gettin's good!'