Blanket Glacier Chalet, British Columbia
Right after the Asulkan trip, we bolted to the hot spring near Valhalla and had only one day to prepare everything for the following 5 day trip to Blanket Glacier Chalet. The Schaffer's have so graciously invited us along to their family and friends trip up to their Chalet. 20 minutes south west of Revelstoke was the heli pad to take us up to the glacier.
Preparing your equipment and supplies at the heli pad is crucial for an organized load with maximum efficiency. We had three trips to transport all the gear, people, and kegs up to the chalet. First we weighted up each individual on the scale with their equipment and divided up with the increasing max load of the helicopter. The max load increases due to fuel weight being burned on each 15 min trip up to the chalet. As it is early April, there was no new snow expected but the spring conditions were upon us. Thankfully with a more stable snow pack than Rogers Pass, we were able to get on some fun terrain.
After the morning of travel, we dropped our bags and got touring around 11am. Castor Peak was the days mission, with a mellow line off the summit to get a feel for the constantly changing alpine spring conditions. Making quick work we all decided to do a second lap up to Pollox peak, a super playful run consisting of wind lips all the way down to the Chalet. As we arrived, we were greeted with a smoked salmon apres and cold beer and homemade chili for dinner.
Today we were all feeling extra motivated to go knock out Blanket Glacier Peak. With a start around 8 am, hoping for winter snow up high even in the spring melt freeze cycle. We would also be traveling on the glacier, avoiding crevasses and training was essential. A harness and a bit of rope for some safety equipment were the basics but we would do our best to stay on the snow surface. After charging up the approach all morning in the intense spring sun, we reached the summit around 2pm. Luckily we got some chalky snow in the top 30m of the peak. The rest of the way down was firm north facing spring snow. We were all stoked to jump into the hot sauna upon our arrival back at the chalet. Shortly after, a sauna heated shower it was party time for beer pong, shot skis, and the shenanigans ensued.
After getting on the upper alpine north aspects yesterday we were looking to get back to the south aspect of Castor. Of what the Schaffers have seen, they say we got to claim the first descent down. We named it "Snot Rocket". The steep south face of Castor peak littered with debris and rocks. After a quick tour and a playful run down the bottom section it was time get rid of the hangover with some more outdoor beer pong. As we tapped the keg it was time for pesto stuffed chicken for dinner and then bed. My kinda day...
As clouds started to roll in we took a relaxed morning so the snow could stack a little more dust on the crust. A quick lap up Pollux with the whole crew and then near the bottom it was time to go scope some pillow lines we have been staring at since we first flew in. However, upon a close inspection the snow on the pillows was rotten and unrideable, so we took a chill playful pillow line down. With homemade maple infused whiskey waiting at the chalet we we're happy to return. For the last night we wanted to go out with a bang so we saved the best tools for the job, fireworks and whiskey!
So many pillow lines!
After 4 unforgettable nights at the Blanket Glacier Chalet it was time to pack and load the heli the next morning. Said farewell to the radest of crews and the Schaffers' for hosting us and headed towards Vancouver Island where hopefully a little R&R can happen at Salmon Beach.
Until next time...