Canuck Splitfest 2012!
So after work on Thursday I left Edmonton at 6:30PM attempting to get as close to Rogers Pass as possible, I ended up making good time and rolled into Mary’s Motel in Golden around 11:30 that night. As always Mary’s didn’t disappoint as my go-to destination for cheap, reliable accommodation in Golden.
I managed to snag about 5 Hours of sleep before waking up and heading for Rogers Pass. After about 45 minutes of driving I came across a pretty bad accident between two Semi’s and the one officer on scene told me to “Go when I didn’t see headlights” shortly after I managed to squeeze between the gap that was left between the trailers of the two rigs.
Not surprisingly this caused the highway to be shutdown shortly after and my touring partner for day 1 was stuck on the other side of the pass in Revelstoke. With no shortage of splitboarders on hand I checked into my Hotel Room and went to the info centre in hopes of finding some like-minded touring partners. After a few minutes I hooked up with three splitboarders from south of the 49th (Wyoming, Montana and Colorado). The previous day the only permit area that was open was Grizzly Shoulder, however today it was the opposite with all the permit areas open except for Grizzly. I was a bit concerned about the snow conditions further down the valley due to the warm temps and rain that hit lower elevations so we decided to grab permits for Cheops and Cheops North.
The first tour of splitfest brought us up Cheops and ultimately dropping down Cheops North into what is known as the Hourglass. We reached the top of our intended line and switched over quickly as other groups were starting to pile up at the top of our intended line, we wanted fresh tracks and we also didn’t want anyone setting snow loose over our heads. Once we dropped in the snow was fantastic, the rain crust was nowhere to be found and we were getting face shot after face shot of powder right down into the Hour Glass to the side of Connaught Creek.
After we reconvened creek side we decided to head to the other side of Connaught Creek (via snowbridge) and up the shoulder of Ursus Minor for some steep and deep tree skiing. We took turns breaking trail on the first lap and enjoyed a much easier, faster second lap shortly after.
Unfortunately due to the epic quality and quantity of snow I don’t have any action shots, in fact I don’t have any other pictures from the rest of that day.. must have been lost in the moment.
Once back at the Hotel I realized how awesome the view from the room was, looking up toward the trailhead for Connaught Creek.
We filled the evening with Beer, Movies and Food.
The room I had booked at the Hotel had 2 beds so I split the room with another splitboarder from Edmonton. This was Jason’s first time splitboarding and on Day 2 I took him up Cheops and ultimately over to the highway aspect to ride Cheops Glades. We met up with two other riders at the top of the climb and decided we would descend the route together.
The top portion of the descent was pretty dense with trees and made for some interesting but still fun riding, I had a general idea of where I wanted to go but I wasn’t 100% confident we were headed in the right direction. We headed left into some denser trees and some fun pillow lines until all of a sudden we broke through into a wide open glade that no one else had been in since the new snowfall! We regrouped and descended all the way back down to the summer trail that runs beside the trans canada highway. After a quick tour we were back at the info centre parking lot. If I venture into Cheops Glades again in the future, I think I would put the skins back on at the bottom of the Glades and yo-yo it a few times, the bushwhacking at the top and bottom of the run just isn’t worth all the climbing.
Once again, no action shots.
I ended up making a few more laps on Cheops North and the Hourglass before calling it a day.
On Saturday night we were treated to presentations from Greg Hill , Kyle Miller and a few others. And ended the night with a raffle to raise money for the Canadian Avalanche Foundation. I honestly only entered the raffle to support the CAF and didn’t have any aspirations of winning anything.. little did I know what was in store! I would end up winning an Arctyrex Atom LT Hoodie and a custom splitboard from Down the Middle Custom Splitboards.
It was really a great experience to be surrounded by so many people that share the same passion for touring, I feel really fortunate to have been able to spend this time in Rogers Pass and I can’t wait to go back.