22 April, 2013

Closin' It Down On The Last Week At TLH

I just got back from the last week of operations at TLH.  Great group, actually fantastic, and probably some of the best conditions we've had all year.  Dry deep snow, sunshine, and a single helicopter to use in an area bigger than Switzerland.
(Photo Above:  Alex Wigley (left) Ken Gray (right) flying laps in The Gun.  Credit:  Andrew Doran)
Guiding this week wasn't as simple as most spring weeks, as there was a hair trigger layer of 20mm Surface Hoar buried 30-75cm down on a hard Melt Freeze Crust.  The snow on top of it was high quality dry snow, but continued to build a slab with multiple convective flurries dropping 10-25cm each day on top of it.  Needless to say, anything above 2350m steeper than 30 degrees was avalanching when we walked or landed on ridges.  It took careful planning to negotiate through and avoid run outs.
(Photo Above:  One of many remote triggered avalanches on Surface Hoar)
(Photo Above:  Alex Wigley leading another line in The Gun.  Credit:  Andrew Doran)
As for our guests, one in particular spent the time to create an amazing video of his trip, and it turned out great.  Check it out.

Heli Boarding BC, Canada, April 2013 from Niki Luysterburg on Vimeo.
Great season, stoked to be out exploring such amazing terrain with such great people.


  1. hey alex,

    looks like the end to a great season. thanks for the reports. wondering if you think there's anything left in the coquihalla these days. getting might warm, but i'll be out there next week...

  2. Hey Patrick,

    Thanks for the comments. I actually haven't heard anything on the Coquihalla in the past while. I would suspect that the daytime heating will be an issue especially on areas of rock slab (which the Coquihalla is known for). It would be wise to have a quick check on the N facing Aspects as well, to see if the surface hoar problem I described above was there at all. I guess the sleuthing is all part of the fun though! Have a great trip.