We woke up kind of early (4:00 am), to meet everyone at the Tim Horton in Hope. It was lovely to see all those beautiful morning faces. After a well-deserved coffee, all the cars headed to Cambie Creek Cross trailhead, in E.C. Manning Park. My own stupidity pushed me to follow the convoy with my little Volkswagen Golf, instead of checking my fuel gauge. Ten minutes later I realised it would have been smart to fill up my tank before leaving Hope. My car passengers and I were convinced the next town would have a Gas Station. It turned out that Sunshine Valley was not the “town” we expected… In other words, no Gas Station. The cars were still heading toward Manning Park and we decided to follow them with our fingers crossed. We reached Cambie Creek and the fuel indicator had just reached the red mark. Oups!
Luckily, except gas for myself, we had everything required to leave in the Backcountry. The instructors even gave each of us a friendly black plastic bag for and we were ready to start skinning! The hike was amazing. We got rid of many lawyers, it felt like Punta Cana – it was 5 degrees… -. On our way up, we could already see how the heavy snow was not the best for skiing but that did not bother us at all. We arrived around 2 pm at the campsite (8 km, 500 m elevation gain), where the view was amazing. Some of us put a lot of effort building forts around the tents to be shielded from the wind. A group constructed a rad snowman and a chilling spot with snow couches facing the mountains.
Before having dinner, we formed groups to practice avalanches’ drill. It was a good recap or introduction to Avalanche safety. Thanks to the instructors. We then started cooking. The warm weather allowed us to cook without gloves! It was fabulous. Under the stars, we were all reunited in the kitchen area. My food group realised we had only one spoon for the three of us. We managed. We even cooked a chocolate fondue “au bain marie” (Marlinde’s art piece). Birgit prepared so much mulled CIDER! I can’t imagine how heavy it was to bring it all the way up. We all appreciated that warm and delicious drink. I think there was a 1L for each of us. Singers took out some VOC songbook. We sang the VOC classics and it was a lot of fun. My own favourite choir performance were Total eclipse of the Hearth by Bonnie Tyler and Wonderwall by Oasis. There were some beautiful voices out there. We all went to bed and snuggled in our warm sleeping bags. Courageous, Anthony and Rowan slept outside the tents.
By 7 am the next morning, Ross woke us up with his angelic voice. The sunrise was AMAZING! We could even see Hozomeen peek from the campground. We left by 8:30 in different groups. The sun was out! Some went toward Big Buck mountain and others went toward the first brother/second brother peaks. It allowed us to practice our gracious kick turns.
The way down was super fun! We all meet at the campsite for a quick lunch and headed down to the parking lot. Some Teleski bindings broke but Voile straps can always do miraculous repairs! It might have been 4 pm when we all reached the parking lot again. For future backcountry skiers skiing down the fat dog trail: it is worth putting your skins on for the last flat bit!!
I almost forgot about my gas problem during the trip. Before leaving, we told everyone to help us if they spotted a Volkswagen Golf on the side of the road. But the road was mostly going down from Cambie Creek to Hope! We did not need assistance, used the neutral a lot and minimized the use of heating.
AMAZING TRIP! Thanks to all