Calgary Section Trip to Fairy Meadows Brought To You By The Saskatchewan Section
Mike Persson, Heather Chamberlain, Reade W, Sue K, Casey Gruber, Pam Paylor, Charlie Adams
On March 19th two groups headed into to Fairy Meadows – Team Calgary and Team BC.
The other group from BC arrived an hour late we were on our way, apparently they don’t realize there is anything beyond the city limits of Vancouver. Even with our tardiness, we were told that we were the most organized group to fly into Fairy Meadows this season.
Reade was met on the helipad by a bodacious babe on skis who graciously welcomed him to “Valhalla”. She seemed a little confused, because the next moment she was trying get into the chopper on the pilot’s lap.
After a quick pit stop in the hut, we did a quick 500m lap to the base of Friendship Col – a good way to loosen the legs after a long travel day.
The next morning Heather unilaterally decided that the best way to embrace the week was to bag Sir Williams – a casual 24 km, 1800m day. After 10 hours of skiing, Reade eagerly began to prepare the dinner his wife sent. 4kg of squash and a crappy stove made for a late dinner with yams (still slightly under cooked) after dessert.
Day two was time to drop two “G’s” – 2000m meters of vertical. The weather forced us into the trees and the breakable crust forced Casey into the hut. Telemark skis are not meant for breakable crust.
Day Three brought perfect weather to bag summits. The two groups combined for an assault on Sentinel and Pioneer Peak. Mother Nature did not intend for 15 people to make it over Friendship Col in an orderly fashion. After an hour to cover 20 vertical meter via two separate paths we all managed to make to the top of the Col. We pushed on to the summit of Sentinel, got rid of half the group, and a few of us carried on the bag Pioneer.
A short day for Day 4, we decided to ski the Houdini Needles. In the spirit of improving interprovincial relations, we motored past the team BC to poach the couloir. Karma’s a bitch, so we returned to the hut to find Mr. Martian, the resident Pine Martin munching one of the last night’s meal.
The next morning, we awoke to 15 cm of fresh snow. There was no shortage of enthusiasm to get out and play in the powder – especially from Casey who had been hut bound for two days. Casey was feeling much better that even after 2000 meters of skiing he still managed to put on a telemark ballet performance down a pillow line.
On the last day, those who were still standing decided it was time to go big, and then go home. We summited Enterprise, did a few laps of the Echo Glacier Headwall in incredible conditions and just for fun a short trip to Unicol in a white out to top it off. Everyone could feel satisfied when they returned to the hut.
A fantastic week, “life changing” (some declared after a few drinks) with a perfect sampler of everything Fairy Meadows is known for. Till next year.