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disco trip to marriott basin

February 9-11, 2005

I spent a week with Disco kids working on winter skills and backcountry skiing. The Disco kids are a grade 10 outdoor education cohort at my school, St. George’s. It’s a tough life… After a day in the Pemberton Valley practicing our avalanche skills, we headed up to Marriott Basin on Wednesday, Feb 9th. Despite our fears that the snow pack would be terrible, conditions were very good.

Day 1
It took us 5 hours to ski from the trailhead to a bench below the cabin at the west end of a lake. Although this may seem like a long time, it was due to the fact that we had a fairly large group (9 people) 7 of whom had never ski toured before. There was almost no trail breaking and the weather was excellent.

Day 2
We spent the day touring in the basin under a mostly clear sky. Our first run was in the large bowl south of the cabin. I was surprised by how good the conditions were. There was probably a foot of powder and stability was good. Mid day we moved to the slopes west of the cabin. In the afternoon we set up an avalanche scenario for the kids, who did very well and “rescued” 2 beacons and a beaconless backpack in 9 minutes.

Day 3
Excellent weather again, but unfortunately we had to head back. Given the weather and snow, I would gladly have stayed a few more days.

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