Blast From the Past 23 Dec 1973

I know these are supposed to be recent trip reports, but bear with me for a bit and see how it goes. I found a page from my diary. It’s a bit terse so I have added explanations in italics.

23 December 1973 Flew into the Bugaboos with Paul and Marilyn Starr, Fred Douglas, Grant McCormack, Sara Golling, Neil Humphreys, Erich Hinze. Landed on Pigeon-Snowpatch col. Temperature 18F (-8C)

The pilot was keen to do business so he gave us a fixed price for the flight, in an STOL Turbo Pilatus on skis. Unfortunately it was overcast and white-out when he came to put it down, and he came in too high and flew over the col and didn’t touch down until we were going down the glacier on the other side. So he circled around and because he could see his track, he landed OK second try. If we had been paying for flying time instead of fixed price, he would have probably flown us back to the airstrip near Invermere, to make another try with better weather.

We skied down to the recently-built Bugaboos shelter, carrying cardboard boxes full of food and stuff.

27 December 1973 Another nine VOC people flew in; our group was now complete. Temperature 8F (-13C) at shelter, -3F(-19C) at the col.

28 December, 5F (-15C) at shelter at noon.

29th December Sunny. Sara fell into a crevasse today.

Sara wouldn’t have fallen into the crevasse if she’d just skied across it like everybody else but she side-slipped to control her speed. We lowered the end of our rope to Sara and she tied onto it; she was about half a rope length down and balanced on a snow bridge. After we hauled Sara out we had to go down almost the whole rope length to retrieve her ski. Sara may have broken a rib and her knee eventually required surgery. It’s good to keep in mind that falling in a crevasse does involve, well, falling.

Eventually we all skied out and then bummed a ride for Sara in the last logging truck of the season, before the road became un-driveable. At Radium Hot Spring we purchased a hotel room for the night, but we were so used to the cold that we left the window open and froze the radiator.

So, this is what we used to do, back in the day before Reading Break was invented. I’m not sure this trip would be possible now; there might not be a Turbo Pilatus, or it wouldn’t be permitted to land up there. 

If you like this trip report, or not, please post and I might be inspired to post another, or not.

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10 Responses to Blast From the Past 23 Dec 1973

  1. Lucy Buchanan-Parker says:

    Thanks Roland! Where were all these stories for the centennial book?! :-)

  2. Vincent Hanlon says:

    1 vote for more!

  3. Cassandra Elphinstone says:

    Great trip report!

  4. Mark Nikkel says:

    I enjoyed it too. Thanks.

  5. Vincent Chan-Ying says:

    I enjoyed this! I wouldn’t mind another one like this posted up :)

  6. Roland Burton says:

    If I find any more random diary pages lying around waiting to be thrown away, I’ll post them. I like posting stuff. It makes me feel like I am actually doing stuff.

  7. Alberto Contreras Sanz says:

    Keep them coming! photos would add to the story

  8. Nick Matwyuk says:

    I enjoy your flashbacks Roland, bring on more!

  9. Olek Splawinski says:

    Agreed! I was looking for evidence to suggest “pizza vs french fries” is a safer method of speed control. 1 point in the pizza camp.

  10. Ilia Capralov says:

    More! Please!

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