Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mt. Shiels - 3.22.2013

Well...as forecasted the "active" weather pattern has arrived. Saturday morning brought 60 cm of snow in the last 24 hours at sea level. I can only imagine how much it snowed up high. SubaLodge getting ready for a stint as SubaPlow:


Rachel and I wanted to make sure we got out for one last tour on Thursday evening before the snow, rain and wind arrived. By mid afternoon it was hard to believe any sort of storm was brewing, looking down at town:


Sheils lies just west of the area we skied on Wolverine Ridge last weekend, so we followed the same approach to the ridgeline as before; skinning through the rainforest then following the series of bowls, gulleys and ribs that lead to the ridge. Looking down at a cute little cabin on the lake:


On the way up we stopped just in time to see this local kid, Ben, flying off a rather large cliff:


Moonrise over the last steps to the ridgeline:


Once on the ridge we contoured west towards the summit of Shiels; the milky sky reflecting off the rimed ridge:


One last bootpack to go - looking west towards Mt. Shiels with the Sound and Mt. Eccles in the lower right. There is certainly some wild terrain on the north face of Shiels:


After the final bootpack through some very crunchy rime we reached the top of Shiels. High overcast obscuring the sun to the west:


With the low sun hiding behind a thick bank of clouds it was quite dark as we dropped back down towards town; Rachel tries out skiing by braille:


Mt. Eccles in the background, Rachel makes the challenging wind crust look easy:


As we descended the clouds continued to build and it kept getting darker; the moon well overhead by now:


Reaching treeline we found the best snow...


...and the least light!


Before long we were back at the car and glad we'd gotten out for one more beautiful outing before the weather changed. I'd love to ski this again when we can see where we're going! It would also make a great tour if  paired up with Mt. Eccles to the west.