I Will Be My Own Engine

I doesn’t get any more committing than selling all your stuff and throwing yourself headfirst into an adventure. The dirtbike was the easiest to part with, I’d mostly used it to access remote areas for photography. That little ranger truck however, we’d been together for 7 years. It was my house most summers. A lot of dirtbag camping nights were spent cursing that leaky canopy while it monsoon rained outside (and inside). My Summit 800 snowmobile was the real tear-jerker to part with. She was my baby, the two of us enjoyed a lot of powder days exploring the Rockies and the Purcells. Now I’m stuck with highway accessed ski touring with the hoards instead of exotic sled-accessed trips up to the Catamount Glacier.

It’s not a bad trade in though – my new form of transport is a pair of shiny new G3 Synapse skis with Ion bindings and some matching Syborg boots from La Sportiva. Last week was all about getting this new set-up ready to go at the Gear Hub in Fernie and hitting the slopes at Rogers Pass to test it all out!

With 60cm of blower snow over the last few days out there it was sure to be a fun trial… Trail breaking was hard, but 8 hours and a lot of vertical meters later our group arrived back at the Asulkan parking lot powder dazed and smiling. Check out this quick video from the last week:

We also assembled our krazy-carpet “John Baldwin style” toboggans this week. They’re a far cry from a camper trailer but they do make it a lot easier to carry our tent and cooking shelter. These are cheap, super lightweight, and easy to make – we added a couple of awesome dry bags from MEC to keep our gear organized and dry. These toboggans roll up easily to be carried on our packs when they are not being used. If you’re planning a traverse of your own, consider making one of these for yourself to save your back from an extra 20+ pounds of weight!

We are still training hard to adapt to our new form of transport. For those of you that find yourselves in Taynton Bowl this winter at Panorama you can send a silent “thank-you” out to Tania for volunteering to boot pack every square inch of Devil’s Drop over 6 long days (I only helped for 2). Those gorgeous steep lines should be a little more huckable for you this year with that snow packed down tight over the cliff bands.

With a little over 3 weeks before departure the list of “to do’s” is still growing. Tania is currently cooking and dehydrating up a storm in the kitchen as usual. In the meantime I’m pondering how to fit a weeks worth of food and fuel for two into an animal-proof package limited to the size of a cessna airplane window that can survive impact with glacier from 200+ feet up. Check in later for what promises to be an entertaining report on our food drop testing in the coming weeks!