I am sitting in the Calgary airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Frankfurt - Zurich. It is this time of the year, travelling to the Alps and guiding a few more ski trips over there. The always beautiful Bernina and Toedi area, then Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc.
Well, I am sitting here (airport), and my mind is still floating around at the best ski-touring area on Earth … the Durrand Glacier. We just finished the 2015 ski season, flew yesterday (Saturday) from the Durrand Glacier Chalet back to Revelstoke. Prior this flight, I flew with Alex to the Empire Lake Chalet and the Mt. Moloch Chalet, picking up laundry and other items that had to be flown out. As Matt, our pilot, flew us over the large glaciers and impressive alpine ridges, from one hut to the next, I got impressed by an endless canvas of perfect powder-snow that was shining in the early AM sun. Never mind, I have been seeing this amazing Durrand Glacier scene of AM light, glaciers, powder snow and mountains since 30 years and I still like it as much as when I have seen it the first time in April 1985.
An amazing powder week in large alpine terrain and with this … yes, the best ski-touring and powder ski season in the high mountains and endless glaciers at Durrand Glacier found its end. An always sad moment, "running" away from the best skiing anywhere. This winter proved it many times. Poor snow conditions in most areas of BC and the Canadian Rockies, ski areas had to close early.
Often ski guests have been scared to fly to the Durrand Glacier Chalet, in fear to find nothing else but less desirable snow conditions with a marginal snowpack. Every single Saturday, as soon as the new ski guests have been landing at the 1946 meter elevation heliport at the Durrand Glacier Chalet, their fear quickly faded away. All they have seen is an incredibly deep snowpack, in the sun sparkling powder or serious snow-fall and super happy ski guests from the previous powder ski week. That was enough inspiration for all new ski guests, every single week within seconds after landing at the Durrand glacier Chalet everybody has been completely stoked. The week has never disappointed any of the ski guests … powder and great ski lines.
This past week was again exactly the same. It was a great week to finish the 2015 ski season, as I had ongoing fun with great ski guests in powder, great alpine terrain and on endless ski runs.
Me, Nicoline and all SME staff like to express their sincerest thank you to everybody who trusted my weekly word, "common up, we have amazing powder conditions… guaranteed".
IFMGA Mountain Guide / SME
SME January videos:
Canada's Durrand Glacier, White Smoke (January and February)
Steep in January, Canada's Durrand Glacier