Woolsey Peak - SME - February 19, 2005

Woolsey Peak || Forbidden Glacier || Swiss Meadows || Symphony - Snow Cap - Allalin || Fang Creek - Moloch || Sentinal - Zwilings - Graham || Moloch - Tumbledown || Picture Essay

Having scored a spot in a trip to Selkirk Mountain Experience, we're off to Revelstoke again. Just two weeks ago we were in Rogers Pass - making this my 2nd trip to Revelstoke in a couple of weeks; more times then in the past three years.

Conditions are a little different now then in our previous visit. There has been no new snow since our last trip but it has been clear and cold - the mother of all high pressure systems appears to be setting up. After getting up for a 5.30 weigh-in, we're off to the helipad at the shores of Revelstoke Lake. Here comes the heli in for a landing.

and following takeoff and a short flight to the Durrand Chalet on a knoll at 1950m close to the Durrand Glacier - here is the heli at the chalet letting us off and departing

Durrand Chalet is at 1950m grid ref 11U 0431596 5680086 - all refs are NAD83. Here is a very general map of the area in 1: 250 scale with about 7km as the bird flies separating Durrand Chalet near the Durrand Glacier and the Moloch Hut on a knoll overlooking the Dismal Glacier. Revelstoke is to the south west of this area; the storm systems hitting Rogers Pass generally hit the Durrand Glacier also. However, the TransCanada at Rogers Pass is at about 1300m or some 700m lower.

I've read about the "SME Experience" and the swiss-precision that the founder/owner and head guide - Ruedi Beglinger - has brought to the operation. He isn't kidding about start or meeting times as we are quickly geared up and off for some quick avalanche refresher and tranceiver practise. For uniformity of gear and quality control, SME issues all guests shovel, probe, Barryvox tranceivers, ABS packs and requires their use at all times; although a guest can use their own pack after signing an additional waiver.

There are two distinct groups here; one party from Santa Fe, and one from Boulder Colorado, with some Seattleites and us Canucks also. We're paired up with the Santa Fe crowd and following our initial practise, off we go for a quick truncated tour to Woolsey Peak - south of the practise field.

The route is south of the Durrand Chalet into Durrand Bowl then east of Moon Hill and to little Woolsey Peak where we then get our first tracks in knee to boot top powder in Boogie Basin - a north facing slope.

Moon Hill "col" is approached east of Moon Hill 2184m 0431491 567812.

"Little" Woolsey Peak where we start our run down Boogie Basin is 2333m 0431180 5676798.

The bottom of Boogie Basin where we end our run is 2182m 0430897 5677418 - you can continue further down the slope if desired and the tree-skiing area there is used when above treeline skiing conditions are hazardous.

It's pretty evenly split between tele'ers and AT skiers. The light is pretty flat but everyone seems to do OK so Rochus, our guide, then takes us up our first climb up and over to a little sub-peak close to Woolsey where he kindly chops off a cornice so we can drop in. Snow pack is pretty bomber after 2 weeks of isothermic conditions; here some of the Santa Fe'ans begin their first cartwheels.

After the initial steep slope we're on to more flat light skiing down the Apron of Allalin Glacier; Sharon on her only day on teles.

Then we're off to Moon Hill for a run down back to the chalet. The clouds clear enough for Steve and Bill to get a look at Snow Cap, Allalin Peak and the Symphony and Allalin Glaciers to the east.

The group approaching Moon Peak.

The group at the bottom of the practise field in Durrand Bowl with Tumbledown Mountain to the north and the final short climb back to the Chalet

Durrand Chalet as the sun sets on our first half day of skiing - 1110m of elevation gain or about 3441 feet

Woolsey Peak || Forbidden Glacier || Swiss Meadows || Symphony - Snow Cap - Allalin || Fang Creek - Moloch || Sentinal - Zwilings - Graham || Moloch - Tumbledown || Picture Essay