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20091213 Cerise Creek

I hadn’t been in to Keith’s hut at Cerise Creek for almost two years. The last time I was there was the first time I met our now regular ski partners, Marg, Kala, Sarah-Jane and Lina (to whom Andy is now engaged!). So, it was time for a return visit. With all the clear and cold weather the snow most places was supposed to be pretty poor, but if it was going to be good anywhere, it would be good on the Duffey.

After a Friday night Christmas party at Andy&Lina’s, Saturday morning I left Angie to her exam studying and set off bright and not very early to the Duffey.

At a leisurely 11am start in the car park it was a chilly –12C, but didn’t feel too bad as there was not a breath of wind.

Andy negotiating the log bridge at the start of the trail with his shiny new Saints:

The cold weather had left some spectacular ice crystals on the stream:

 

The trail was very icy, but it made travel fast:

Further up the trail we criss-crossed the stream which had more cool crystals:

   

Sharing a little snack on the trail:

Ice stalactites:

 

After dropping our gear at the cabin and reserving a sleeping spot, we headed up the ridge behind the cabin for a couple of quick runs before the light faded:

Lina enjoying her new G3 Viva’s:

The failing light was creating some cool effects over Joffre:

Despite some wind affect, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the skiing (sometimes it helps to have low expectations!):

As the light faded there was just time for one more run down to the cabin (which you can see in the background behind the clearing if you look closely):

Back at the cabin we stoked up the wood stove and started on dinner. As it was well past dark we thought there would only be 5 of us for the night, but then about 2 hours after dark the gong-show arrived. Two separate groups of 4, some novices on snowshoes, some skiers, and two dogs. The usual 2-hour approach had apparently taken one group almost 8 hours! Still, it make the hut cozy:

Next morning it was snowing lightly, but looked like good skiing. We took a repeat run off the ridge to start, then headed over to the lower slopes of Vantage for some runs in the trees.

Andy decided he needed a closer inspection of the snow:

Lina on the glacial moraine above the hut:

Andy:

Lina on the same run:

Heading down the last (and worst) run, before heading up to the cabin to collect our camping gear:

After picking up our gear we climbed the ridge once more, dropping off the North side to get a quick run rather than skiing the trail. With “early season” coverage that all got a bit exciting lower down, but we made it down in one piece, and the light snow overnight had made the trail out a lot more pleasant than expected.

After dinner in the (newly upmarket) Pony in Pemberton, all that remained was the long drive back to the city.

It just goes to show, if you have low expectations you are rarely disappointed!

Andy’s photos are here

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