Some time in November, when our hopes and aspirations for the season were billowing out from our heads onto paper, I had mentioned to Weston that there were two places that I would love to revisit with him.
The First was Treasure Mountain Lodge in Silverton. We were able to make that one happen on a whim in December when they got hit with a storm while the rest of the lower 48 sat dry still waiting for their seasons to get under way.
The Second was one of the lodges just north of Golden, BC, where you get helied in and dropped off for a week of touring.
We were driving home from Snowbasin one afternoon in February, when we got a phone call from Trew’s Tripp Frey. He was wondering if we had any plans for March. As a matter of fact, we hadn’t and with the Utah season showing no signs of recovery from the low and dangerous snow pack, we were ready for an adventure elsewhere.
Tripp went on to invite us on his annual friends hut trip. This year it was to Sorcerer Lodge, a heli in lodge just north of Golden, BC!
Weston and I looked at each other with excited disbelief. It looked like this season, not one but two of our dream trips would come into fruition.
February soon turned into March and we found ourselves packed to the brim with camera gear, backcountry packs, and skis. We made our way north slowly (Very Slowly).
We all piled into Brian’s Toyota Tundra, which was sporting a fancy new topper that was recovered the evening before from under a foot of snow from a buddies yard.
Next stop Bozeman, MT! We reached Bozeman around 5pm and made a quick stop in to the Bomb Snow offices to collect some of Lance’s photo gear. Then hit up our buddy Zeph, of Zephyr skis to watch him press a fresh pair in his garage.
The Boarder is always uncomfortable, it is the line on the map, neither country nor state, just a line. A purgatory of sorts. It was in this purgatory that we sat while Weston got brought into the offices and questioned as a suspicious alien attempting to forage his way back into Canada usurp the volunteer opportunities of their citizens.
We arrived at the Sportsman Lodge in Golden around 6pm to meet up with the other 12 people that would become our newest and closest friends for the next 7 days.
Later that evening we all gathered in one of the rooms to sign our lives away, discuss the particulars of the next day’s loading schedule, and meet Tannis, the owner of Sorcerer Lodge and one of the raddest women ever.
The morning came quick and even quicker did our personal gear get piled including 2 1/8 kegs, 15 or so bottles of liquor, 24 bottles of wine, a few cases of Kokane, copious amounts of Zoke, toilet paper, food, fire wood, Oh and not to mention our ski gear. All got packed into the Landing Zone while we waited for the heli to arrive.
Once settled and briefed the flights began. 4 loads later we all found ourselves inside a beautiful lodge. It was snowing pretty hard out, so we could only imagine where we were located based on the photos that were framed on the walls, the lodge book of the surrounding runs and the large map that was posted above the observation clip boards.
It was now 11:30am and we were all ready to get after it! It was still dumping and it looked so deep.
We skied strait down form the lodge and immediately were greeted with pillows of all sizes.
After 2 laps, our legs that hadn’t seen much pow thus far this season, were worked. We made one more concession and then headed in for the evening.
That night, along with celebratory libations and grub, we planned our next day’s excursion. The weather called for a small high pressure to move thru that would bring blue skies for a small 24hr window, perfect for a tour in the alpine.
Cheap Scotch was our destination. The tour kicked off with a 1,000ft vert. decent thru trees and pillows into a drainage. once in the drainage it was a 2,500ft vert ascent to the peaks and cols of the alpine.
With over a meter of fresh snow and a few weeks since anyone had made their way over to Cheap Scotch, trail breaking was slow and brutal to say the least.
But we pushed thru, alternated leads (sort of) and made our way.
Much like the lower 48, The Selkirks were having a bit of a rough go with avi conditions. A buried surface hoar layer from February was still cause for some light treading and conservative line selection.
Regardless, the snow was amazing! The pow was light and deep and our laps were delicious.
The way home was just as arduous as the way out. We broke a new trail up that would later provide access to quick laps on the popular Lee’s Trees run.
With a sense of accomplishment, exhaustion, and anticipation for what was to come in the days ahead we drank beers, sipped Ullar, and passed around the bottle of Whiskey.