This was originally to be Anna Geller’s and my trip because we both have birthdays on Feb 20. I looked at the Huts Registration page and it said that there would be 8 people at the Hut. I emailed the guy and he said that the 8 were definitely going, so I figured one carload of our people would be about the right number.
I didn’t post it under Upcoming Events because I figured, no problem getting a carload, but the usual faff ensued. Anna got herself a job interview so she had to bail. Then we were over-subscribed because I offered Emily K a ride and then had to tell her that my Carla had taken the last seat. In the end we had me, my Carla, other Carla, Crystal, and Amanda.
To show we were Beginner Friendly here’s what we did. We had 2 snowshoers, one reformed snowboarder on tele, plus two AT skiers. To show our lack of competence, at the start Amanda discovered her snowshoes were broken. Crystal found her ski poles needed baskets if she wanted to use them for something other than measuring snow depth. Other Carla had a small day pack plus a brutally heavy handbag. Fortunately I had a spare set of snowshoes, a spare set of ski poles, and we tied Other Carla’s two packs together into a nasty lump that she carried happily until it started snowing hard and we had to encase the lump in a plastic garbage bag to keep it dry.
All this took some time, so it’s good we left Vancouver around 7 am. We parked about half a km past the snow-cat shed in a tangle of snowmobile trucks. Thankfully the snowmobiles mostly didn’t go where we went. We were watching our location and the passage of time carefully, and by noon we were only about 8 minutes behind schedule. We didn’t get much of a chance to play with the GPS other than to get encouraging messages, because the other hut users had made a lovely efficient track all the way to the Hut. Just after lunch we had an intense but short blizzard. Soon Amanda was saying things like “This is the tree we slept under”. We watched carefully to make sure she didn’t turn around. Time passed, snow accumulated, and it began to get dark. Soon the GPS was saying less than 1000m, which is exciting because when you walk one metre, the number changes.
We arrived at the Hut to see the light on, the hut warm, everybody was pretty happy. Our crew found the guitar and the songbook, Amanda and Crystal tried some harmony; I’m not musical but it sounded very nice. I hummed a bit. The full moon came out, scenery happened, the five alpha males went out for some night skiing. Then we went to sleep.
Next morning we got up around 7am because we thought it might take a while, and mostly because the sunrise was pretty gorgeous. The skiing down in the powder was pretty good mostly. At the road my Carla decided she didn’t like skiing and her feet hurt, so she switched boots and skis with Amanda’s snowshoes. Turns out Amanda is the only one of the five of us who could actually ski, instead of just survival ski. We arrived at the Jeep around 3:30 just in time to get the big traffic flush from Whistler.
I totally enjoyed the people on our trip, which works for me. I didn’t do anything particularly graceful, other than maybe two linked turns up in the powder. I crashed quite hard on three occasions and side-slipped down a small cliff by mistake. Crystal got used up doing pizza for speed control and complained that when you crash on skis your feet go all over the place, unlike on snowboards. My Carla is growing new feet; she may have them ready by next weekend. Other Carla said she liked the trip and wanted more. Amanda finally made it to the Hut, which we both enjoyed. I’m not going up there again for a while. The road’s just too long for an old guy.