02 February, 2013

Work Block At TLH

I just finished up a two week work block at TLH Heli-Skiing.  For our first group, I was surprised when I greeted the guys from Mountain Life whom I know from Squamish, and some people from Europe at the helicopter.  I could tell it was going to be a great week with our crew.  In true Canadian style after doing the beacon training, we played hockey out on the lake with the sun setting in the mountains, and beers in the cold.
(Photo Above:  Mountain Life Magazine Crew and TLH Guides and Staff Hockey Tournament)
We had tricky conditions to find snow, but we made it work, skiing some of our biggest tree lines and some really cool big features.  We managed to find pillow lines, cliff hucks, half pipes, and fall away rollers immediately.  Even more amazing is the area's we made it into that don't get skied on a regular basis such as The Matrix, and some steep runs called African Tribesman.  Check out the great online feature on Mountain Life from their trip here.
(Photo Above:  Your's truly around the White Cross area.  Credit:  Todd Lawson)
(Photo Above:  Heli Landing underneath some of TLH's "smaller" alpine features.  Credit:  Todd Lawson)
Fast forward through the next group cruising big alpine bowls, blasting steep trees and skiing fast open runs to the third group.  With new snow falling and the storm still going we went searching for long tree runs.  Those snow geeks out there will note that the storm came in covering the January 23rd Surface Hoar and Facet layer, and within our tenure we didn't see a large amount of natural activity, although one avalanche failed on the January 04 Surface Hoar layer.
(Photo Above:  Snowboarder shredding 'Puerto Rico' in the Taylor area)
(Photo Above:  GoPro's, mountains, and really big toys  Run:  Tahiti Bite.  Thanks Lorenz Muggli!)
When the sun broke again we were lucky enough to have amazing views, and good stability, which translated into shredding really cool runs!  It's important to know that every week at TLH is steep week, if conditions permit, and we got on stuff that was steep and aesthetic.  Chutes, big faces, massive alpine features and bowls, stoked to be out so far in the coast and have the chance to ski all this amazing terrain.  Especially happy when the conditions lined up to drop into a line that was 45 degrees, full of pillows and great cliff hucks, in perfect thigh deep powder.
(Photo Above:  One of our guys squeezing in the last of our light for the day)
(Photo Above:  Heli-Ski Sightseeing while skiing between Ethelweard and Icemaker Mountains)
Now, I got a week off for some rest and relaxation, along with some Ski Touring!  Stoked on shredding at work and at home!
Vertical Skied on Shift:  62,025m (203,494 ft)


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