A early winter tour up to Mount Sproatt via the NE side. Weather was great, snow was crap! Go and ski Sproatt this year while it’s non-motorized access only. In other years, you can expect to see a ton of snowmobile tracks up there, despite it being the source of Whistler’s drinking water. For more route information, check out the ski guide on the VOC Wiki

Paul in the meadows, just as we broke out of the thin cloud layer lingering the valley bottoms
The snow conditions weren’t great at all, in fact it was down right horrific at times on the way down. I’m almost certain it took us just as long to survival ski back down as it did to skin up. At least it wasn’t raining this time. A few weeks ago Chris and I also tried to ski Sproatt, but it was way warmer than forecasted and we turned around quite early.
Some gentle terrain, not a bad place to be on a day with a considerable avalanche rating from alpine to treeline. There were a few steep slopes along the way, but those had mostly slid already. We dug a pit at ~1500m, and found a total snow depth of 300cm on a northeast aspect. Some easy-moderate failures in the upper 70cm of storm snow.
And then it got really nice
Chris BL
Touring up to Sproatt
Sundog. The weather changed pretty quick.
High clouds, sunshine, and hardly any wind. Is it too much to ask for blower powder also?
Chris and Paul on the way up
Paul touring along the rolling terrain near the summit of Mount Sproatt
Almost there. Note the wind packed powder. We encountered almost all kinds of snow condition, a little bit of light fluffy powder at the top, some wind packed powder, lots of breakable crust, death cookies and mashed potatoes in the trees, and more breakable curst along the road in.
Smiling at the summit. We managed to get one good run down from about 1800-1600m where the raincrust didn’t exist. Below that, things were horrific, with a good dosage of Type 2 and 3 fun. We were hoping to ski the Duffey the next day, but the snow plow flipped over on the way through Pemberton, leaving the rest of the Duffey unplowed that morning. We ended up at Whistler, skiing some cement-ilicious snow. I can’t call it powder.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *