My friend Graham and I had the opportunity to do a ski tour together
which doesn't normally happen. So, we decided to try to 'retrieve' a sack of
potatotes that we both left on Storm Mountain. He had left the summit unclimbed
a few years ago, and so had I. In retrospect, January is too early to ski the
summit of Storm.
We had an early start (Graham's even earlier since he leaves from Okotoks), and I wanted to capture
a photo of the half-moon for my son. Graham taught me how to tell if the moon is waxing or waning
(stick your ski pole through the 'bottom' of the moon and if it makes a 'b', the moon is getting
BIGGER and so is waxing).
A look into the valley after we crossed over through the high cliffs and ugly mess following the
Storm Mountain firebreak. For future use, try not to get sucked into traveling too high after the
firebreak, but also avoid dropping too low too.
The last few weeks have been perfect for forming surface hoar. Check out these crystals.
You can see the terminal moraine at the head of the valley, along with some nice light, and
north-facing cliffs, which had some smaller ice formations too.
By a bit after noon, we finally found a bit of sunshine. Here's the always-stylish Graham
giving the thumbs up to bluebird skiing.
The upper cliffs on Storm Mountain. To the far right of this photo is the exit we chose to follow
to get up to the rock ridge/col. I think with more snow, the natural ski line to the summit is right
up the gut of this bowl.
Graham, at the end of our uptrack section. You get a decent look at the mixed bag of windswept,
low coverage snow towards the top of the larger slope here.
Another look at the lack of snow up here. I think later in the year, this is more suited to ski
mountaineering, but today would be a 'mixed' mountaineering day with rock boots being a better
choice for the top ~300m.
Glamour shot of Graham for Kaela with a look back at the Rockwall in Kootenay.
Video of the area around Storm Mountain, taken from the col
Video of Graham skiing down the main slope
Video of Graham skiing a short bit down valley and almost eating it
Data from Ski Tracks application Full size
A map of our route showing our travel. Note the exit completely missing the Storm Mtn Firebreak
and making our exit tough through extremely large deadfall. In retrospect, try to not get sucked
into the gully/creek after exiting the boulder field, and so trend a bit higher and hit the firebreak.
Data from our trip. Of note is the ~10 hours it took us (exiting just after 6pm in the dark)
along with the 2910 top elevation (peak is ~3100).