Happy Valley - March 11, 2009

words and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.

Hudson Bay - Feb 28th || Mt. Harvey - March 1st || Hudson Bay Inbounds - March 2nd || Boulder Mt. - March 3rd ||
The Galleon - March 5th || BC Scenes and Windy Ridge - March 6th || Windy Ridge - March 7th || Bear Glacier - March 8th || Shames Slackcountry - March 10th
|| Shames - Happy Valley Tour - March 11th || Shames Inbounds and Slackcountry- March 12-14th

Led by Rod Gee and joined by Brad we initially headed to the Valley of Certain Doom intending to do the Happy Doom traverse. The forecast was for 3 - 5 cms and we aborted the Doom part into what I thought should be more appropriately called the Valley of Endless Gnar - a bit reluctant to wander along what looked like suicidal slidepath after suicidal slidepath.

We headed up Happy Valley instead toward ridgeline. It started snowing per forecast. BTL had really good snow. TL and alpine we encountered some soft then hard wind slabs (up to 30 cms thick pencil at alpine). Skiing was mixed down from alpine to TL with some breakable crust but new snow adhering well to slab. Skiing was very good down the main face (I called this We Came All Over the Face). Brad and I hit some pillow lines in the interest of group safety and snow testing and all was well.

Sharon navigating Happy Valley slidepaths and debris

Snow ptarmigan waiting for curry fry-up

More Shames River navigation

Sharon gracefully makes sketchy river crossings look easy

Lee - not so much grace and finesse

Lee heading up Happy Valley

Lunch-break. Valley of Certain Doom looks more like Valley of Can't See Squat

Rod Gee dropping into We Came All Over the Face Face

More Rod


Brad getting down!


Rod Gee again

Route out in magenta