Last year I was able to test the Plum Oazo binding thanks to SkiUphill and I loved them and in the summer I contacted Plum to see if they would be interested in working together to promote their product in Canada. Luckily for me they were stoked on the idea and I was stoked to promote a product that I believed in. Shortly after I got an email from Claude Vallier, he had been a Plum family member for a while and writes guidebooks for the Yukon area. I was hoping to ski with him at some point but I neither of use looked to be headed each others way anytime soon.

Claude skiing Dolomite Shoulder

Then in early Jan 2020 I get a surprise email from Claude saying he’s heading to Banff and wants to ski. Conditions were a bit touchy at the time but he seemed to be up for anything as it was his first time skiing the area. By the time he arrived on Jan 26th we had a few options and we decided to head up the scenic route of Dolomite Shoulder. Mat was still in town (The Mind Shaft trip kept him in the area and away from work in Alaska) and he hadn’t been up that way either so it was a perfect choice and we ended up skiing outstanding powder snow from the very top all the way back to the road in great weather.

Claude and Mat lead the way up Paget Peak

The morning of Jan 27th I met both Claude and Mat in Lake Louise and we decided to check out the Kicking Horse Pass area. We had our sights set on skiing White Knight or White Rabbit on Ogden but as we arrived at Sherbrooke Lake the clouds had engulfed that side of the lake. We decided to instead head up Paget and try for the summit, which ended up being worth while as we found excellent snow in the path heading back to the lake. Claude and I called it a day but Mat went up Ogden to try for our original objective.

Claude skiing Surprise Pass

On the 28th Claude and I decided to check out Surprise Pass as Joel from SkiUphill reported good skiing conditions from the day before. We made good time to Saddleback Pass and we made a quick side skin over to Saddle so Claude could check out the north face of Temple. From there we followed the hard packed skin track all the way to Surprise Pass and skied it in great conditions. Anna had solo’d up to the bottom of the run and took some pictures of us coming down and the three of us had some good laughs about another group questioning her being alone in the parking lot.

Claude enjoying the great tree skiing that most people don’t believe exists in the Rockies

For the 4th and final day of Claude’s visit we were joined by Anna, Michelle and Mike. We decided to head to Hector South Glades as the winds were starting to pick up and the views being limited. We found excellent powder snow conditions in the area and had a fun and chill day out.

For more info about Claude and his guidebooks check out his website

To learn about Plum and their awesome products check out

Pretty sure he’ll be back!

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