Spring guidebook lines
The life of the weekend warrior was a litle tough this spring, with consistent blue-bird weather not appearing until later.
Chick-a-boom traverse. A beautiful ski up the Chickadee valley, the south facing options at the end of the valley present great corn descents on their own right, but we continued. The steepness on the north side was short lived and slog continued along the top of the cliffbands above Boom Lake before climbing up to the Boom Mt. col for a forgetable descent through breakable suncrust!
Popes col is a great ski and one that I wish to return to with better views and snow depth so that I can lap both lobes of the glacier. Visibility was in and mostly out, so we moved towards landmarks as they appeared through the fog. The climb through the larches to regain Narao shoulder was one of the most pleasant parts of the day before an isothermal bash back to the road.
Pumpkin traverse is a classic with some suprisingly steep slopes to kick it off, both ascending and descending. A little disheartening to center punch a steep and exposed south facing slope only to find miles of flat terrain as the reward.
The "cross country" skiing guidebook warned of a long and hard day for the Opabin-Wenkchemna circuit. A hard pace was set up to Lake O'hara and onto the Opabin glacier. After a short descent, we were center punching up to Wenkchemna pass, wondering if the traverse would be more fun in the opposite direction (there would be longer, lower angle approaches to the cols though). Nobody had much interest of heading over Wastache pass, which was for the better as we all suffered skating out Moraine lake road.
I have really underappreaciated the Cirque Peak- Observation Peak area for ski mountaineering. From the road and earlier in the season, they appear windblasted, but both shelter small glaciers on their northern aspects. Later in the spring, corn can be skied on all aspects!