Timing in skiing, like in life, is everything — and we hit just the right windows on a recent trip up toward Crowfoot Pass. Partially cloudy skies and temperatures just below freezing made for a comfortable morning as our party of seven set out across the frozen, southern tip of Bow Lake.
We layered down as we ascended through Crowfoot Glades, some of us right down to bare forearms, and then covered back up as we stopped for tea and snacks at treeline.
Buoyed by some good conversation and fresh blood sugar, we pressed on toward the alpine.
This required some group decision making as we looked for the best ways to navigate the rolling terrain and still-bulletproof surface of the morning snow. But we managed to find the right angles as we made our way up and down the undulating features.
With the pass in sight, we stopped for lunch. And to re-evaluate.
With the light cloud cover thinning, the temperature rising, and the cornices above slopes in the distance looking a little menacing, we opted to soak in the views from here and not press on into riskier terrain.
That gave us plenty of time for some casual chit-chat over lunch – and to let the snow soften for the ski down.
As we removed our skins, the bare sun began to emerge, and any worries of a chattering descent melted away.
The once-impenetrable surface of the snow softened just enough to make for some fun turns, while staying firm enough to keep us from breaking through and tripping over our tips.
The run down was actually quite pleasant, for late April.
The final, flat section gave us a chance to work on our early-season suntans as we made our way back to the parking lot and then on to Lake Louise for celebratory beers at Bill Peyto’s Cafe.
May 6, 2017