We have heard many things about Battle Abbey. Its incredible terrain, historical hut and existence brought to us by two pioneers of ski touring and mountaineering in the Selkirks. After Bill Putnam was unceremoniously asked to leave Fairy Meadows by the ACC he partnered with the father of Heli-Skiing Hans Gmoser. Together they built a hut that encompassed the camaraderie felt by those who visit these mountains and whose power is only trumped by the beauty of these mountains.
Battle Abbey is now run by the son of Hans Gmoser – Robson, and Bill’s mountain son Roger Laurilla. They pass on their passion of the mountains to ensure your trip with them meets your expectations.
We have always been hesitant about guided trips. Like a condom; safer with, funner without! We were very pleased with our experience in that during each day we were fed, skied powder, skied trees, toured where we could and had an incredible experience. After each day we were tired and happy to be back in the homey atmosphere of Battle Abbey.
The Battle Abbey website contains all the information you need to see what the terrain has to offer. Here you will find Google Maps of the ski runs, description and pictures of the runs and area and a blog by Robson who gives updates of his current trips so you can get first hand information on what’s up.
The following is an account of our week at Battle Abbey.
The two story hut sits at 2200m elevation. Staging is at Alpine Helicopters at the Golden Airport. Flight time is approximately 20 minutes.
We flew in on two flights on a Bell212.
The view flying in was exceptional! Lee gawked at all the hanging icefields
After landing, unpacking and being wary of the Pine Marten (here running off without our food)
We were able to acquaint ourselves with the Battle Abbey hut
Drying area where one of the fireplaces was
We were assigned our bedroom that came with linen and towels and lots of drying places
The downstairs bathroom contained the shower and its own fireplace!
Our guides for the week were Robson Gmoser – seen here in the living area working away
Not only did he guide but he also BBQ’ed mean buffalo burgers
Kirk Mauthner – a senior ACMG mountain guide with otherworld-like amazing terrain-reading ability.
Our cook for the week, Eileen McKie who fed us and kept everything shipshape
The caretaker and carpenter who has done a lot of work at the Abbey and other huts; Rick Sutherland.
The Guide Aspirant – John Everts who was never short of a willing positive attitude and infectious grin
To inspire us for the days ahead the mountains teased Moonrise over Moby Dick
The shadow of Moby Dick as ice blows off the peak in artic outflows
Moonrise over “Easter Island” just west of the hut
Moonrise over Pequod Pass
Thus set the stage for our week at Battle Abbey.
Total travel and elevation – 80km, >10,000m climbing
Battle Abbey in the Selkirks – Complete at EveryTrail