Phalanx Tour

Paul, Justin, Matt and I had a good day on the Phalanx loop out in the Blackcountry backcountry. I like bluebird days in February!

After the week of warm weather, and northerly outflow winds, most slopes were looking rather wind affected or suncrusted, but the views made up for it.

The views are hard to beat. Decker, Fissile and Garibaldi way back there.

Unknown skier sideslipping down the steep section of Don’t Swill off the Spearhead.

Paul skiing up above the Spearhead glacier

We got in a nice lap on the bump on the east side of the Spearhead glacier, and then headed over to the Stairmaster couloir on Phalanx. We didn’t really have a firm plan today, so it was an endless day of bickering over where to ski breakable crust/powder.


Paul bootpacking up the Stairmaster couloir, a steep narrow gully leading up to the double summits of Phalanx Peak and its nice north facing glacier. A big slog that looks good with the wide angle.

DSC_3565 Double Summits
A group of three enjoying a quiet bluebird day at the top of Phalanx Peak, away from the Olympic buzz in the valley below.

I was skiing with three powder pigs, and there was no chance to get any photos of the glacier skipping down to this bench. There’s some pretty good terrain in those open slopes behind Paul, but it’s definitely something to do when the avalanche danger isn’t too high.

After debating whether to ski out the Poop Chutes (USA vs Canada hockey game), or to skin back up to ski the glacier again, we chose the latter. We thought we would still have time to make it down for at least the second period.

Paul skinning up along the Phalanx Glacier. Almost looks like its inbounds with all those noodles.

Justin getting a nice run down onto the Phalanx Glacier. Videos of people skiing in the backcountry seems pretty popular these days, but I don’t have a video camera, so here’s the next best thing that I found online.

Skiing out along the bench and then traversing some slopes to get to the Poop Chutes and Blackcomb Creek. We had a bit of a scare when we lost Paul who had continued skiing down towards Wedge Creek past the bench.

Karate skiing, one notch above survival skiing on the way out to the Poop Chutes. The snow was pretty heavy by this point, and there was quite a bit of shrubbery to get around. We should have stayed a little bit higher on the traverse. We couldn’t wait until reaching a nicely groomed green run to take us home.

DSC_3645 Bitter Ending
After bugging the token American in our group (Justin) all day about the game, and making 5-0 predictions, we ended up catching the last ten minutes of the game to watch Canada lose against the USA.

Back in the car and the end of a good weekend of exploring new places in the Coast Mountains.

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