Beautiful day here in Whistler yesterday. Lots of fresh snow lately.
Went sledding with a buddy in the afternoon.
It was fantastic. We had an amazing day..
And then at the end of the day we broke up to the back of the next peak and I dropped into a gully on my sled. As soon as I did my first turn to the left I saw the windslab break. I looked down and saw a staunch wall starting to form. (A staunch wall is where the slab slides up and over the one underneath it.)
I wanted try and get away from most of the snow mass so I pinned it to the left. When I hit the staunch wall it sent me in the air and I landed on my tail on a left leaning slope, which sent me sideways and ejected me from the snowmobile.
I landed facing down and had a few seconds to think "OH F*&K!" before the wall of snow hit. It tumbled me forward and all I could see was white. I was like being in a snow washing machine. I continued the momentum of my spin and I think that helped me end up on top. When everything stopped I stuck my hand up in the air to let my buddy who was watching in horror know that I was ok.
I managed to self extract and set to trudging the ten feet up to my snowmobile. It was like tunnelling. Each step I would sink up to my waist or deeper and then I would sink again with the next step.
When I finally made it up there my kill switch was broken, but my sled was only partially buried upside down. Pat asked if i was going to need help and I said yes so he skidded down the slide path and hit the staunch wall at mach shnell, but it was soft and absorbed most of his speed.
We got the sled running after we figured out that the kill switch wires needed to be apart.
I got too excited yesterday, and ignored the obvious signs of wind loading. I certainly won't make that mistake again.
cool video Mike! I'd love to know where those guys were. I think that first coulior might be Mt compton, where , on either side of the coulior is some very good looking unclimbed stone. The other one? That looked like some sweet stone too. Mt Thiassi maybe?
I saw a totally hilarious slide show by those guys in Canmore a few years ago, about similar stuff up in Stewart. Completely hilarious, like sledding up through the Khumbu Icefall and grizzly encounters. Then doing a little whoopsie in some hienous death fall coulior and having to climb back out again.
As cool as it all is, I still think sleds blow. Fine for access, also great for destroying the whole ambience and tracking the place into oblivion. I'll likely get another one for next year. You know a good line on some deals? A 600 or 700 tops.