Fairy Meadows – Day 7 Echo Glacier – Friendshop Col – Outpost Ridge trees

Yet another teaser morning. By now, I was thoroughly paranoid about weather, the lack of staying power of the sunshine and the sheer clusterf$&k inherent in travelling with large groups and group – decisions. Despite all this here we go again in a big parade up to Friendship Col. Let me explain why. It’s easy to gain altitude quickly going to FC. It’s also easy to set a skintrack there which one can follow back down valley in a whiteout. Also, the Echo Glacier (on which you can travel), at this time of the year, did not have open crevasses. So it seemed like a reasonable path to take on the odd chance that the weather would hold up.

Jasmine, Nathan, Sarah and Antony wearing finery for Jasmine’s birthday

Pete up the practise slopes

By now, the track to the Echo Glacier and Friendship Col was getting a tad old. The views of the Granite Glacier were tantalizing. Only 3 to 5 cms had fallen overnight, but that was enough to almost erase my old tracks on the Echo (and the rest of the group’s tracks down the ridgeline). As we got closer to Friendship Col the tracks closed in again.

Groups heading up the practise slopes

Pete and Trevor at the moraine with Quadrant Ridge and Peak in the background

John trucking up the Echo Glacier. Weather approaches again quickly from the north east.

First really decent look at the upper Granite Glacier and (from L to R) Enterprise Peak, Cycle Pass and Cycle Peak.

Homi on the benched traverse below Gog and Magog

Socks in again at Gog and Magog

This time I wanted to do something other then another ignominous retreat off Friendship Col. Trevor and John went up to Damon to summit and ski down flayed by gusting cold winds. I skied a short (40-45 degree, 50m) shot off the west side of Friendship Col scratching my steep skiing alpine itch. Then we went back down, AGAIN, to the moraine. At this point it really started snowing hard (15 – 20cms over a 5 hour period past noon with zero visibility) so I finished off the day by heading off to the treed ridges under Outpost Peak and skiing fast quick solo 500m pillowed runs.

Thus ended my first week at Fairy Meadows. Great group of people who made total strangers (Jeremy and I) feel totally welcome. I stuffed my face full of good food and feasted on powder. Tons and tons of snow but too bad I never did get  into the high alpine in any meaningful fashion that week. My luck was to turn for the better the next week.

Last night group party (from L to R) sitting Tobin, Jeff, Trevor, Pete, Jeremy, Beth, Elizabeth (face hidden), Eric, Raquel, Homi. Standing from L to R: Lee, Antony, Nathan, Jasmine, Sarah, Phil.

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