Woke up to -35C this morning in Lake Louise, packed the van and drove over to ski resort to pick up @Chris. Shortly after @Anna decided that it was just a tad too cold for her and we drove her home. We headed back to the Great Divide Lodge looking to get back in the alpine.
We started a bit earlier today and it was much colder, after going through the wildlife fence we raced up the summer trail towards Paget Glades and onward towards treeline. There was a previous skin track going in mid treeline which made for quick travel to warmer altitude. Once the skin track ended we finished our way to the alpine where we found the open slopes covered in rock, ice and bullet proof wind slab.
We bootpacked to the sub peak following the scrambling route and then switched back over to skinning to reach the named summit. After a short break we decided to try the west aspect ending at Sherbrooke Lake. We started down just below the summit through rocks and rock hard snow heading south to find access to the lower alpine bench. The “snow” was extremely hard and linking jump turns on it was a great test for my new boot/ski setup.
At the alpine bench the snow turned to powder and as we entered the trees it only got better. We skied a section of steep trees where we got some limited sloughing before following some denser tree cover. The snow felt good, there didn’t seem to be any kind of slab or sliding layer but there were still facets on ground and neither of us felt like pushing our luck. About half way down we found ourselves again in more open terrain, Chris skied a section of glades and I made some turns in a more open slope before riding out down to the summer trail where it meets the lake. We followed the summer trail back to the parking lot to end the day.
Very cold below treeline, fairly nice in the alpine. There was a light cold breeze at the summit and a few clouds forming. Looks like some of the storm snow had previously released on Ogden’s steep spine/chute wall. No one else in the area today and the snow in the trees was excellent for us.