Archive:Geoff's 12-13 March 2011 Beginner Friendly Neve Crossing

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Postponed until further notice No pre-trip meeting Wednesday, March 9

Since I've never done it, and perhaps some of you haven't either, crossing the Garibaldi Neve seems like a good idea. The plan is to cross the Neve south to north, making the traverse on the first day, and skiing out the second day, performing some kind of impressive car/driver-shuttle/swap at the end. Crossing the Neve involves some amount of strenuous uphill skiing and some amount of strenuous downhill skiing as well as some amount of travel through avalanche-prone areas. The first day will be a long one.

  • Why is this Beginner Friendly? - this trip is beginner friendly in the sense that beginners to backcountry skiing are welcome and we will be happy to teach and wait for them, not in the sense that it is easy or safe. See the VOC definition of beginner friendly Here.
  • I suggest reading (if you have it, or borrow it from the clubroom, a friend, whatever) Freedom of the Hills to brush up on your mountaineering know-how, particularly the section on glacier travel.

Skills Required

  • Can ski
  • AVI know how
  • General fitness and willingness to suffer


We'll cross the neve from south to north starting at the Diamond Head Parking lot, heading uptowards Elfin Lakes, Ring Creek, over the neve, down to Garibaldi Lake, and finally the Burton hut in Sphinx Bay. This will probably be a long day. Then we'll ski out via the Barrier Trail and do a driver shuttle of some kind to get home.

We'll cross south to north for two reasons: 1) It represents a net loss in elevation, and 2) Because that way you won't know what you're in for until it's too late.

Here's the Garibaldi Neve route.

What If...

...there is terrible weather, a whiteout, or bad AVI conditions forecasted?

We'll go to the Brew Hut where we'll share food, stories, sing songs, and ski things that are easy and safe.

Gear Required

Check out the gear lists on the wiki for a backcounry ski trip here: Gear lists

Remember, the VOC has lots of gear for rent in the clubroom. There are lots of ski packages, AVI packages, ice axes, packs, harnesses, helmets, etc... available in the clubroom.

Personal items are in regular font, shared items are in italic font


  • water bottle (at least 2L, unless you know yourself)
  • headlamp and batteries
  • sunscreen
  • sun glasses and/or goggles
  • map
  • compass
  • backpack
  • pocket knife
  • whistle
  • lighter and/or waterproof matches
  • first aid kit
  • Toilet Paper
  • tent

Clothing / Equipment

  • warm jacket (fleece or down)
  • long underwear (top and bottom)
  • toque / hat
  • mitts / gloves
  • weatherproof jacket (goretex or coated nylon or softshell if weather is forecast to be sunny)
  • weatherproof pants (goretex or coated nylon or softshell if weather is forecast to be sunny)
  • hiking poles?
  • gaiters (optional if your pants have an integrated snow cuff)
  • warm pants (fleece or down)
  • insulated booties (optional)


  • Lunch and snacks x2
  • Breakfast x1
  • Dinner x1


  • sleeping bag
  • sleeping pad
  • ear plugs, because somebody will snore (optional)

Cooking and Eating

  • bowl, spoon
  • Stove with fuel. If using white gas, for each person bring 200 mL
  • Pot and matching pot gripper
  • Toothbrush

Ski hardware

  • ski helmet (optional) (most climbing helmets do not protect from frontal or side impacts and are not acceptable substitutes)
  • skis (must have touring bindings that allow the heel to be free) or a split snowboard
  • skins for going uphill. They must fit your skis and have reasonable glue. Test them.
  • bindings. Applies particularly for splitboards.
  • poles
  • boots to match your skis or snowboard - there are many different kinds of binding interfaces. Make sure to test that both your boots fit into your bindings before the trip.
  • ski repair kit

Avalanche Safety Gear

  • 457kHz avalanche transceiver (with batteries, tested in advance)
  • shovel
  • probe
  • snow saw (optional)
  • rutschblock cord (optional)
  • loupe (optional)
  • crystal card (optional)
  • CAC Avaluator card (optional)
  • CAC Public Avalanche Bulletin Printout{{#if:1|

===Climbing Gear===}}

  • ice axe
  • harness
  • belay device
  • carabiners
  • rope
  • prussik cords

Pre-Trip Meeting

Postponed! No pre-trip meeting until further notice!

The pre-trip meeting will be 6:30pm Wednesday, March 9 in the clubroom. It is important that everyone comes to the pre-trip meetings since this is where trip details, rides, and food groups will be sorted out. If you are on the waitlist, come to the pre-trip meeting and you'll probably get a spot. Conversly, if you are on the list and don't come you may loose your spot, unless you contact the trip leader (Geoff) and a driver to make your own arrangements.

Sign-up (with experience)

  • The trip is now full, pending more leader-types. If you have a car, the trip is not full to you!
  1. Geoff 'neve say neve again' Martin (lots of mountaineering experience, has climbed pointy things)
  2. Bethan McKevitt (beginner back-country skier, has been to shark's fin in the summer)
  3. Sherri Tran (AST1, new to telemarking, up for weekend adventures)
  4. Spencer Rasmussen (AST1)
  5. Evgeny S (skiing, no avi)
  6. Geoff Dunbrack (fairly experienced, can drive if I have to)
  7. Julien Renard (beginner category,no AVI, needs to suffer to improve)
  8. Gemma Clark (can ski, lots of hiking, no avi, have a car!)

Wait List (with experience)

  • If the sign-up list has reached 10, put your name here. Don't despair, you can probably come if you come to the pre-trip meeting.

  1. Chelsea Raley (Fairly, no avi)
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. ...
  5. ...

Vehicle List

If you have a car, put it down below. Rides will be sorted out at the pre-trip meeting. One driver will leave his/her car at the Barrier Trail exit and be shuttled back to start the trip with the rest of us. This will allow a car/driver-shuttle/swap of epic proportions to occur upon our arrival at the bottom of the barrier.

  1. Car 1
  2. Car 2
  3. ...