Early season skiing is always a favorite. Everything about it is great, you are so that excited you can't get to sleep at night, you know the snow conditions are almost better suited for mountain biking rather than skiing , you're out of shape , it's warm out and it's still going to be the best day ever!
Having made the move from the Rockies to the Columbia's and between chatting with the locals and the Google machine it was obvious that the best location for early season turns was up on mount Mcrea. Having spent the last 4 years in the national parks it feels strange being able to drive up almost any mountain via logging roads but it sure does open a lot of terrain. They offer up some insane views too!
After a about 30 km or so of driving we made it to the end of the road, unpacked and started walking up the Mcrea summer trail. After gaining a about 100m we were able to link up the snow patches and started skinning. We had a fair amount of snow in the previous week which was followed by warm temperature and heavy rain. This made for a strong and supportive rain crust on to of 30 to 50 cms of base. This had two positive effects for us, 1. Saved our bases while skiing and 2, made for quick travel, which was welcome.
Once we reached the alpine we had a few options to choose from. Our original plan was to ski the glacier located on the north facing slopes of Mount Mcrea but given the supportive crust we could ski pretty much anything that was snow covered. We gained the ridge and skied a sweeping S down the false peak ( what I chose to call it ) of Mcrea. On our approach through the basin we noticed a pretty pronounced spine which came off the col in between the "false peak" and Mcrea proper. It wasn't soft or anything but how can you not ski such a cool feature, in November no less!? Rad!
After skiing our early season spine somewhere in between, equipment issues , fitness and getting lapped for the 6th time by a lady skimo racer, we called it a successful first outing. Super fun day , skiing is always so much better than not skiing . We added a gallery bellow to include the photos that didn't make the blog , because why not?