Duffey – Caspar Disaster


About 10km past the Cerise parking lot is another mountain – Mount Caspar. The issue is getting there… Today we’re again skiing with John, Lindy and Greg. Kevin and Heidi join us. Kevin is an old friend of Lee’s from back in the Team Puke biking days and he and Heidi have been living in China for the last three years teaching. I wonder if all this fresh air will kill them…


View from Cerise area.

Mount Caspar ridge - Photo by John Baldwin


This flank is pretty steep… We climbed straight up from the road to the arrow until the snow got too unconsolidated and the day was passing us by.

The best approach????? - Photo by John Baldwin


We can see the northern ridge as we approach. This has been described as a good line to ski and possible destination for the day.

Road approach just before Vanhorlick creek


If hindsight were 20/20 and some unknown ligament in my ass could see this would have been a good place to turn around.

hmmm maybe we can get up from here?


Few pictures were taken earlier due to being preoccupied with thoughts of – does this go???

oh look, Kevin is doing a kick turn!


We continue gaining elevation as the trees thin.

Heidi in the middle of a kick turn!


The views were of course, stellar, it was COLD though – 12oC – but felt colder with the stiff north wind.

Sharon – oh look a kick turn!


Cayoosh in the background.

Sharon – - Photo by John Baldwin


We start heading up over some rocks, the snow is really unconsolidated here, there and really everywhere.

Is he doing a kickturn?


Greg tries to find another route that well, maybe won’t require a kickturn. nope.

Greg in his treed element


Once at this crux point with the snow not wanting to support our weight, convex rolls and facets to the left, cliffs and more trees to the right, Lee tries to sidestep up.

Kind of hard to side step when the snow keeps falling away…


So Kevin digs out his shovel and digs his way up to the next pitch.

Keep digging!


Once up top we realized we weren’t at the top, it was late in the day and the snow was not confidence inspiring so we made the decision to go back down the day we came.

hitting the trees!


The descent wasn’t THAT bad! after the big hmmm 626m in 2.34k… in about 4 hours…