A rolling odyssey through British Columbia’s high alpine passes. A preview of the feature in the December issue of POWDER (44.4).
I was alone on the col, the last to drop into the milky fishbowl. Shadows of the surrounding peaks floated in and out of view. Massive piles of stone were there for a moment, obscured the next. Far below, Rogers Pass cut a 90-mile line from Revelstoke to Golden, British Columbia, through the vast, glaciated, and alpine terrain of the Selkirk Mountains.
ar below sat Josephine, our exploration vehicle and home for the journey: a 1985 Dodge Okanagan camper van with a sticky accelerator pedal and a hand-rolled blue racing stripe.
We began the day skinning up Lightning Strike Ridge. The new snow felt satisfying underfoot and promised good skiing. When we gained the ridge, the hemlocks and firs separated and made way for old gnarled white pines. From there we could see ski lines on the next ridge.
Duffey Lake Pass
As we approached the tree line and Joffre Shoulder ridgeline, Duffey Lake Pass revealed itself: complicated terrain with countless options for us to ski; massive seracs, crawling glaciers, craggy peaks, and seasons upon seasons of amazing skiing options.
A cornice hanging like a gargoyle obscured the route. The fog below made it look like they were peering into an infinite chasm of nothingness. We regrouped, made final preparations, and dropped in one at a time. The entrance was steep and exposed, but the snow was perfect. Greg Hill went first, skiing fast in the fall line and looking over his shoulder for moving snow with every turn.