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2022-04-13 at 21:25 - comment by SteveR
Mike, Jo is well aware that I already have a harem of skis! In fact, it was her that recently introduced me to a new mistress- a lightly used pair of Asnes 3/4 metal edged beauties.
2022-04-12 at 22:37 - comment by Mike W
SteveR - Does Jo know about this!?
2022-04-12 at 20:44 - comment by SteveR
Who knew that a chance meeting would inspire you to such journalistic heights!
Does Little B have a sister? Asking for a friend.
2022-04-12 at 20:34 - comment by Mike W
Hi Mr. A. Toque - You're absolutely right. The Little B's are empowering in many ways beyond skiing. Just as Aladdin was empowered by a magic lamp that was lost in a cave for 10,000 years, I found a pair of magic skis that had been gathering dust in Switching Gear for 10 years. (FYI, 1 ski year is equivalent to 1,000 lamp years.) In addition to skiing, the Little B's have endowed me with superpowers of story-telling, photography, and website hacking. You were indeed prescient when you replied to my first Little B post saying "You have a BRIGHT future on those skis"!
There may not be any more Little B adventures this season, as I'll be at Campbell Icefield Chalet next week and the Little B's have flown to Norway with Cecilie Skog to visit her friends.
2022-04-12 at 20:02 - comment by SkierRoger
I think you're right, Aqua.
He has me taking notes for sure!
2022-04-12 at 15:50 - comment by aqua toque
Dang Mike W! Your trip reporting skills are teh slap!
You have even circumvented the shortcomings of the website by cleverly using self-comments to create a chronologically accurate presentation of your many fine photos.
Would you say the Little B's have given you these powers?
2022-04-11 at 18:58 - comment by Mike W
Photo 1: Our counter-clockwise route from Castle Junction
Photo 2: Lots of open water on Altrude Creek
Photo 3: Clearly trimmed with garden shears, but who did it?
Photo 4: Beaver dam, handy for crossing the creek
Photo 5: Trees are handy for creek crossings as well
Photo 6: Don't cross here!
2022-04-11 at 18:55 - comment by Mike W
Photo 7: The valley starts to open up
Photo 8: Snow squall shortly before Vista Lake
Photo 9: Upper Altrude Creek
Photo 10: High 5's at Vista Lake bridge
Photo 11: Following the hiking trail up to Arnica Lake
Photo 12: Great views from higher up
The Little B's Make a New Friend!
Report Submitted by Mike W
(trip) Date: Saturday Apr 09, 2022
Submitted: Monday Apr 11, 2022 at 18:49
Photo 13: The Little B's Make a New Friend!
Photo 14: Nearing Arnica Lake
Photo 15: Arnica Lake, at last! Storm Mountain behind.
Photo 16: Skiing down to Upper Twin Lake
Photo 17: Upper Twin Lake
Photo 18: Icy hairpin turn descending from Twin Lakes
2022-Mar-27 Thor's Folly
Why is Cecilie Skog afraid of falling?
Me and the Little B's, Cecilie Skog and her friend Aga
It had been a week since our last trip, so the Little B's and I were keen for another adventure. I recalled Rick Kunelius' glowing recommendation of Thor's Folly "This is one of those 'I wonder why people bother' type trails. ... Forget about locating a trail - bushwhack." (2022-Mar-27 https://www.skierroger.ca/index.php?content=showski&id=1059). So we consulted his guidebook for something similar. Instead, we found something better! "Twin Lakes NOT RECOMMENDED ... mundane, cold, dark, uninspiring, and quite steep." Last year at about this time I skied with a friend to Twin Lakes from Vista Lake and over the NE shoulder of Storm Mountain. From Twin Lakes we continued over Gibbon Pass and down Redearth Creek. It required a car shuttle. Since the Little B's and I were on our own, we planned a loop starting at Castle Junction, up Altrude Creek to Vista Lake, across to Twin Lakes, and down the Twin Lakes hiking trail back to Castle Junction (photo 1). I'd never heard of anyone skiing or hiking Altrude Creek. It flows from Vista Lake down to Castle Junction in a steep-walled valley 150m deep. It looked feasible on Google Earth, but you can never tell for sure until you try.
With high anticipation, off we drove to the trailhead. While I was getting ready, I noticed the Little B's were chatting with a tall slim woman with a Norwegian accent (photo 13). She looked familiar, but I couldn't place her. Finally I realized who she was: Cecilie Skog, the famous Norwegian adventurer! https://www.en.asnes.com/ambassador/cecilie-skog/. After having climbed the Seven Summits, skied to the North and South Poles, and climbed several of the 8,000m peaks, she was in search of a bigger challenge. She had been following the Little B's exploits on SkierRoger and came out to the Rockies to see if she could join us, along with her friend Aga. The Little B's are always ready to mentor up-and-coming skiers, so we set off as a group.
We made good progress on a firm crust along Altrude Creek (photo 2). About 2km in, we encountered the first sign that someone had been there before: the trail had recently been neatly trimmed with garden shears (photo 3). But who had done it? We got our answer a km later when we reached a beaver dam (photo 4). But we had no idea how the beaver got hold of garden shears.
Travel became more difficult now. The creek meandered against steep slopes and cliffs, and snow bridges were few and far between. We got blocked a bit further upstream and had to come back to cross the creek on the beaver dam - thank you, beavers! Further upstream the Little B's and Cecilie were able to jump across the creek, but Aga and I had to climb over a fallen tree (photo 5). We had a close call at another crossing, and had to back off (photo 6). Finally the valley opened up making travel easier (photo 7). Shortly before Vista Lake, we were hit by a snow squall that exceeded anything Cecilie had encountered on her South Pole expedition (photo 8). Thankfully it was short-lived and we made our way up the final stretch of Altrude Creek in sunshine (photo 9). On our arrival at Vista Lake, the Little B's jumped up and gave me a high-5! (photo 10).
From Vista Lake we followed the summer trail up to Arnica Lake. The lower part had been packed by previous skiers and snowshoers (photo 11). Higher up, we were treated to views across Hwy 93 to Chickadee Valley, Boom Mountain, and Mount Bell (photo 12). We continued on to Arnica Lake (photos 14 & 15). After reaching the NE shoulder of Storm Mountain, we had an easy glide down to Upper Twin Lake (photos 16 & 17). From there we followed the hiking trail down to Lower Twin Lake. The hiking trail descent to Castle Junction started off almost flat with 10cm of powder snow over a firm base. But as we descended, the trail steepened and deteriorated to dust on crust, then pine needles on ice! It's well-known that Cecilie is afraid of falling - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAaEb_EkydI, and she balked at a particularly nasty hairpin turn (photo 18). The Little B's, seeing her discomfort, asked me to carry them down the corner so Cecilie wouldn't be embarrassed by asking Aga to carry her down as well. The Little B's are so empathetic and considerate!
Another successful adventure! But for those who aren't as hardcore as the Little B's and Cecilie Skog, I'd recommend doing this trip a few weeks earlier in the year when Altrude Creek is more snow-covered and the Twin Lakes trail is less icy.