With a big high pressure system sitting over SW British Columbia for the past week it was time for a multi-day mission to the Duffy Lake area. My old friend Kevin was back from teaching in China and wanted to get in some touring and cleanse his lungs of Chinese toxic air.
We figured that the Cayoosh area would be the ticket. Our first day was just a half-day due more to sheer laziness then anything. With a sled-assisted tow into our base of operations we quickly set up, dropped our overnight gear then took off to the N branch of Cayoosh Creek into the Valley of numerous Slide Paths. My plan had been to ascend the ridge via SW facing slopes and then ski those same slopes. However, a pretty severe inversion presented us with the beginnings of sun-crust on valley floor. Pinwheels on the sun-affected slopes showed that the solar and heat had affected those slopes even more. We gave up on that plan and decided to tour to the head of the valley to see what we could find.
Jameson gave us a tow but first had to get the sled on the access road
Clear cold skies means surface hoar ~ photo Jameson Florence
Approaching the Valley of Slide Paths via the N fork of Cayoosh Creek
At the head of the Valley of Slide Paths
Sharon and the group taking in the view of the North Cayoosh Glacier
Route finding to the head of the valley and then to the ridge at the valley head itself is straightforward. We weren’t planning on heading up to Cayoosh via its N glacier but it would be trivial to access the glacier via this direction. Snow actually wasn’t too bad on these SE-facing slopes and temperatures appeared to be cooler (perhaps localized glacier effect). We gained a small peaklet and found a heli-pad that appeared to have been used recently and took in the views.
Peaklet at the head of N Cayoosh Creek – view north looks to 7 Mile Creek and Nequatque Mtn
View from the peaklet looking S to the Joffre-Matier Group
Kevin and then Sharon skiing down to the valley
We then headed back to valley floor basically retracing our route. Due to the inversion, the snow at lower elevations was pretty good and we could ski through the valley floor easily crossing the snowbridged creek. There was still an hour of daylight so we headed to a clearcut just S of where we had set up for the night and did a lap in what turned out to be very good snow.
Jameson and Lee skiing down to valley floor
Looking at Pk 2225 – the prominent peak N of the junction of S and N Cayoosh Creek and further E to Rohr and Marriot Basin in the sunset.
Kevin taking in the good snow in the clearcut – view looks to the N fork of Cayoosh Creek and of course Cayoosh Mtn in the foreground
Home sweet home