Off we go this time to the Valhallas. This is an area of southeastern BC that is not often visited except by loggers, snowmobilers or ski tourers it seems. After a drive to New Denver just outside Valhalla Provincial Park, we’re off to the small community of Hills where we meet the snowcat which takes us to the lodge and tenure of Valhalla Mountain Touring in the Ruby Creek basin.
Here is a general map of the area. Hills is just south of Roseberry on the map.
Pickup is by snow – cat. This certainly avoids the uncertainty of helis. The pickup trailhead is 584 m elevation. All following grid references are NAD 83 11U. The trail head is 0465627 5549086.
Taking a break halfway up the access road. Snow cover is thin – just not been a big snow year. Despite the many signs cautioning that this is a private road and is VMT’s exclusive tenure, there is evidence of many snowmobile tracks. We are told this is from private parties ignoring the signs.
Snowcat pickup is at about 10am and we’re at the lodge at about 12 noon. Here is a view of the lodge. Its not what one might call rustic; luxurious space, lots of place to hang up materials and clothing; big kitchen for our self-catered group. Very bright and sunny and exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail in the woodwork.
The VMT lodge is at 1745m 0457790 5548983. Here is a view of the lounge looking into the kitchen.
View of lounge looking into foyer
Dining room with table seating 14 looking into kitchen. There is running cold and hot water for showers and quite a hydro system for electricity powered by 3 turbines from nearby creeks.
After a quick spot of lunch, Rupert, our guide, asks us if we want to get in a quick ski. Off we go to a neighbouring area close by; Ruby Basin. We don’t actually get all the way to Ruby Basin but to a ridge with north facing slopes close by.
Group skinning up to Ruby Basin with Big Sister in the background. Our start point is 2146m 0456890 5548123
Catherine on the slope coming down. Despite the lack of the traditional big snow year; the north facing slopes here have retained powder nicely.
Hamish on the same slope
We climbed just 450m on this short day.