Whitecap Alpine – Jan 2013 Flying in and Home run
British Columbia is one of those amazing places in the world that offers spectacular recreational opportunities. One of of those opportunities are Backcountry ski huts that allow people to LIVE in the area where they will ski if only for a few days. Most of the huts are in the Interior of BC. These huts are very remote and as such do not provide people with time constraints or who may be intimidated by a week in a hut to take advantage of this unique BC Backcountry experience.
Whitecap Alpine is such a hut. It is situated in a broad valley offering both Alpine and Tree skiing, much like the other BC Huts. What it has which the others lack is the proximity to Pemberton, which is a mere two hour drive from Vancouver. In a two hour drive and 20 minute helicopter flight you can be in the middle of no where. But where out your doorstep is terrain that will challenge and entertain you regardless of the weather. Furthermore, Whitecap Alpine offers shorter trips for those who can not, for whatever reason, embark on a one week trip – whether it be the two day travel time, the one week in a remote hut or people who may not know if they can handle such a trip. Whitecap offers the same experience in a less intimidating package. That being said, you can also stay for a week to truly explore the vast terrain.
Trips to Whitecap Alpine are all guided – so you don’t have to break trail, wonder if you’ll get the goods, or wonder where those damn cliffs are, the guides know and they will show you the goods. The trips are all catered. You get up in the morning, get ready, eat, ski, come back to the hut after a day of skiing, eat a snack, have a shower or sauna, eat dinner, drink beer, go to bed and get up to do it all over again! They also offer Heli Assisted touring so you can get even more Vertical skiing on your trip!
This was our second trip to Whitecap Alpine, we there in 2007 when we had more snow and couldn’t see anything but did experience ton o’ pow!
The snow donkey – Blackcomb Helicopters A-star offers an awesome lift.
One group leaves the other group enters.
In the hut we are debriefed by Lars Andrews – a guide of over 20 years, belonging to the International Federation of Mountain Guides. He has skied here since he was two years old so REALLY this is his backyard!
The assistant guide this week is Neil Warren from Calgary, aptly named – AFP – always finding pow – after our week with him!
Since the Tuesday flight starts at 11:00am, we only have time for a short ski today. So we go to Standard Ridge.
The hut makes for a comforting background on our way out.
We go up, Neil leading the way
We ski a short way on the other side of Standard Ridge
Before heading back up just in time for the sun to set.
This is worth a picture. This is the Girls Pee Tree, the guys Pee Drum is in the back. In this stall is an actual toilet that is bottomless and drains into the ground. Very nice.
Lars has put up a couple of really comfortable warm Yurts to expand his sleeping capacity. A group of 6 guys from Seattle were also here during this week.
The Lodge – Dinning table, living area, upstairs loft, sleeping area in the Sauna room.
FOOD! 1st night was burritos! Vegging in the living area.
Our elevation profile for day 1.
425m of climbing