Spearhead Traverse in a Day – March 23, 2011

I got a call from Dad Tuesday night to see if I was up for a ski. Since getting my wisdom teeth out eight days before I had hardly left the couch. We decided on the Spearhead Traverse since the forecast was bright. It had been on my list for years. GPS Track here

We left the church in West Van at 6:45am and were on the Blackcomb Glacier by 10:15am. It was a beautiful day indeed.





There were loads of skiers for a Wednesday morning. Perhaps everyone had been keeping tabs on the weather forecast. We were at the top of the Blackcomb Glacier by 10:40am with a great view of the terrain to come.


10:46am – A view of the Spearhead. Man that’s a lot of terrain to cover

We passed some slack-country skiers who intended to ski “The Hourglass”, a pretty crazy looking run on Tremor Mountain. Time to check the GPS again to get our bearings.





By 2:17pm things were socking in. I was starting to worry about what might happen if we got stuck out. I had made the mistake of forgetting my shell. A fleece and lightweight down jacket would have made for a pretty cold night if we got stuck in a storm.




2:21pm – Looking towards the musical bumps, far off in the distance

When choosing out my food for the day, my primary concern was to bring food that was soft enough to not disrupt the holes where my wisdom teeth used to be. I failed to realize that a food bag of 2 avocados, 2 pieces of bread with almond butter, a piece of cheese, and a piece of sausage lacked electrolytes, sugar, and carbs. I was feeling pretty burnt out by mid-day.





At this point we were both anxious about it getting dark. We knew that the route from the Fissile/Whirlwind col to Singing Pass would be much slower in the dark. But low and behold, Fissile came into sight at 7:12pm.



We quickly got to the col and saw an incredible firey-red sunset over Black Tusk.







Without delay, we set out for Singing pass. We had a superb run down to near Russet Lake. The snow conditions were excellent. Not wanting to put our skins back on, we boot-packed the last uphill between Russet Lake and Singing Pass. We then survival skied down a horrific crust to Singing Pass with the last few minutes of twilight. By the time we were at the Singing Pass trail, it was time for headlights. I was happy to have changed batteries the day before. The trail was icy and fast. We arrived back at the parking lot by 8:46pm. An excellent day indeed!

Lessons learned:

1.       I can’t stand the Black Diamond tail clips. I almost lost them a number of times. I should either find some better clips that are compatible with my skins or get some spares.

2.       Don’t forget a shell

3.       Bring salty foods

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