Fairy Meadows – Day 12 – Granite Glacier – Enterprise_Colossal Col – Enterprise Glacier – Nobility Glacier – Sir William – Granite Glacier

This slog to the 2996m peak of Sir William, about 6km from the hut is best described as a long day to be attempted by a fit motivated group. To be blunt, big slow groups that insist on committee (in)decision should stick to closer objectives as this will not be enjoyable. The route is simple. We went to Enterprise - Colossal col, as the same route as yesterday but instead of dropping to Scotty Couloir we dropped down Enterprise Glacier then up and over and around the north flank of Enterprise. Adventurous tourers should check out east ramps of Enterprise peak for a surprise gift of a nice fall-line chute.

Hut morning view with “Beam Me Down Scotty” couloir in the backdrop

My favourite run back to the hut which I’ve called “The Massacre” after a Tim Place video. Higher angle then the practise slopes yet still manageable. My track is on picture left

Ants on the Granite Glacier dwarfed by the summits and icefields

Warming up quickly on the Granite Glacier

After descending from Enterprise – Colossal col down one arm of the glacier its up another arm towards Sir William

Route down/north from north flanks of Enterprise Glacier to the Nobility Glacier and the base of Sir William

It’s definitely starting to get warmer and warmer as the incessant blue sky takes it toll on snow-pack. South-facing and east-facing slopes down low are not in great shape. The Sir William route is east-facing and was an unknown. However, on descending to the Nobility Glacier as soon as I made my first forays onto Sir William I realized that all would be well and that the snow would still hold great skiing. I put a skin track into the picture left/south part of the face not knowing what part of the face of Sir William we would ski. All slots were very visible and mostly present where the glacier adjoined Sir Andrew and Sir Henry.

Ascending Sir William

Sharon reaching the peak of Sir William. The Remillard Group then the Argentine Group is in the background to the south

Great view from Sir William proper. By now, great views and long sightlines were the norm rather then the 100m visibility of last week. We drank in more views, this time mainly to north and south and had a fine front-row seat of heli-skiers from CMH Adamants enjoying 20 degree meadow-skipping. But then it was time for us to ski our 450m/1500 ft shot to the glacier. The pitch turned out to be perfect – 37 at the top with sustained 35 to 33 for most of the slope and then benching slowly. I let the skis run and didn’t bother trying to conserve snow.

CMH Adamants was flying in the Ed Falls Glacier drainage. Spot the fartbag-wearer!

Quite possibly the nicest panorama I have ever had the fortune of taking. It looks almost 360 degrees from the northern Nobility Group to Kinbasket then from Clemenceau to Columbia and the rest of the eastern Rockies then back to the Adamants.

Beautiful snow to ski down Sir William – Sharon makes sweet music down fall-line.

Benet not doing too badly himself

Lee coming down Sir William with Sir Henry in the background.

My tracks are picture left, Sharon’s are centre and Benet’s are picture right. As the CMH 212 overflew I could picture the guest nattering “Klaus! Guenther! Look — they are not disciplined in their turns — too much space!!”.

As the helicopter flew over, I could just picture the guests fuming at our inefficient wide GS tracks

We still had more ground to cover – most of it downhill. First a 300m shot of even better snow down the Enterprise Glacier then another 400m shot down the Granite Glacier. What took us about 4 hours of ground to cover to Sir William took only 2.5 hours to cover getting back to the hut. I vote this one of the best tours possible in this area. It might even be well worth heading down to the Ed Falls Glacier given more time.

More downhill - this time coming off the Enterprise north glacier

Benet on the home stretch heading down the Granite Glacier

Sharon on the Granite Glacier

Lee on the Granite Glacier

Day 12 map

Day 12 elevation profile

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