Sentry Lodge Feb 10 - 17, 2023

Golden Alpine Holidays

Day 4 - Elevator - PlumbLine again - Archers - Don't Tell Russ

Mixed weather was called for during the day with temps still holding at being cold. A sucker patch of clear cold started us out in the morning but we knew a storm would come in later during the day with our turn for bluebird alpine coming the next day. So we stayed patient and checked out yet more of the tree nuggets that still held insanely great snow.

This time, we went straight off the face of Sentry Lodge down Elevator then over back towards Plumbline. Initially we hadn't planned on skiing Plumbline but our tracks were still the only one's on its face; the snow was too plentiful and blower; the light was too nice; and the conditions too perfect. So we did what we had to too and came across its face.

Then over to Don't Tell Russ to ski that and then back over to Gauntlet as the lower part of DTR still didn't have enough snow for a clean shot to valley floor. We then finished up with yet more Elevator laps to end it all satisfied.


Plumbline looked so good we had to wreck it again

Over to Don't Tell Rus

Don't Tell Russ and Gauntlet

Snow started coming down hard at the end of the day. Elevator proper hadn't been touched so we remedied that defect


Day 5 - Elevator - Rasta Pass - Stairway to Heaven - Shield

One doesn't take windless, stable, cold, bluebird days in Interior BC for granted. When we woke up to 25+ cms new at Sentry and still air we knew it was game on for alpine excursions. Still mindful of the omni-present persistent weak layer we headed up to Rasta Pass for above-treeline exploration,

SW strong winds from the previous few days had slabbed up W slopes and rendered thinner S facing snowpack on those aspects sub-par for skiing but still OK for cautious low-angle travel. Fortunately Rasta Pass and it's valley is a broad moraine remnant

of a now-deceased glacier with lots of aspects and opportunity for low-angled approach. We got all the way to Rasta Pass; traced art on the lakes. Then skinned up Zeppelin Ridge where we then worked the N -S spine splitting the W facing Battle of the Moores (which predictably looked bad due to getting wind-hammered) and over to Stairway to Heaven.

Stairway skied like a dream; although initially a tad steep it rolls over to a series of benches and is E facing thus having the benefit of protected terrain + a fatter snowpack (relatively speaking). We then skinned over towards Rasta Pass proper again to do a half run of the face and then worked over to Shield.

We finished up with Shield running it all the way back to valley floor. Some of us then weren't yet content so finished up with a lap of Siege (completely utterly fresh) and Elevator (also fresh).

At the climb out of Elevator looking back to the lodge

Rasta Pass views

On Zeppelin Ridge looking towards rolling (and kind of boring tbh) terrain SW of Sentry and, in the distance, Sir Sandford and the Adamants

No respect for ski bases contouring above the W facing wind-hammered Battle of the Moores and back down to the N-S spine coming off Zeppelin Ridge

Oh Stairway to Heaven you are so aptly named

Down Rasta Pass proper after a short skin up from Stairway to Heaven

Shield back to the valley floor of Elevator then back to the lodge

Another run off Siege

and then a bonus run off Elevator


Day 6 - Midships - Riders of Rohan - Midships - Ramparts

More snow! More bluebird! No avalanche involvements the day before; something we couldn't say of some of the other GAH self-guided huts who had unfortunately fallen victim to bluebird pow fever. With that knowledge, we felt comfortable with the more simple, less-aggro terrain choices.

Today was another day to explore. We had never checked out the terrain in the bowls due SW of the lodge. Our recommendation; don't bother unless you're just going for a pleasant ramble and stability is a concern. Our objectives of Cowboy Bowl & Chaos in the Kitchen are placid, gentle rambling slopes suitable for three-pin meandering.

Instead we found ourselves suitably content walking for views; skiing a short and cold shot off Riders of Rohan then cycling back towards MidShip and Kashmir. We then finished up with Rampart and some of us got another bonus Elevator lap.


A very cold ski down Riders of Rohan

On our way back from Riders of Rohan/Cowboy Bowl looking back to Zeppelin Ridge and behind that, Rasta Pass

Sentry Peak in the background as we make our way up to Kashmir

At the peak of the Midship ridge you can drop gorgeous alpine lines back into Rasta Pass. We picked the conservative option and did lower-angle Kashmir laps

Kashmir then MidShips then Rampart to end the day


Day 7 - Excalibur Glades and the Gallows

I will admit that Evan is right that, if there isn't a ton of snow and if stability is a concern; you can run out of terrain at Sentry over a week. With the caveat that our personal risk profiles held us off the steepest lines (S-Squared; DragonSlayer; Booly Booly) and the bigger pillows, we used our last day and a nice refresh of 10cms new to go back to the Excalibur Glades and the Gallows. Another bonus Siege lap to end the trip

It was good, and we finished satiated