Fairy Meadows, BC Canada • January 19-25, 2008

Our good friends SP, Dan and Janine had the foresight to enter the lottery for booking the Fairy Meadows hut, up in Canada's Selkirk mountains, for a week's stay this last winter. And low and behold, they managed to reserve the entire hut for 20 or their best friends for a week in late January. Somehow, we qualified and up into BC we went. We knew perhaps a few more than half the 20 fun-hogs in the group. It was a great time to visit with old friends, make new ones, ski a bit and enjoy great dining.

The hut is found in a high alpine cirque under the east ramparts of the Adamants, a group of impressive granodiorite spires a bit northeast of Roger's Pass in Glacier National Park. As with many remote ski tours in Canada, the approach is by helicopter. With poor weather on our scheduled fly-in date, we were a day late in getting in.

So here we are, all ready to go, as the chopper makes its attempt to get us in on Saturday, our scheduled flight date. However, it was not to be, after flying about half way there, the pilot decided it was wiser to return and try again the next day. Here, the group attempts to keep everything from blowing away under the powerful rotor wash.

And it was a lucky thing we waited as we were rewarded with a great flight. Here, we are looking east to the Canadian Rockies.

The Fairy Meadows hut, in the moonlight.

The full moon rising, as seen from the hut.

On our first day, we split into two groups, one skied up to Friendship Col, to the south of the hut, and the other up to the Unicol, to the northeast. This is part of the Unicol group.

We had remarkably good weather for the entire week. Unfortunately, we also had lots of wind, and much of the light new snow that had fallen the day before our flight, also took flight, off to the east somewhere. But even at the end of the week, with no new snow, we still found plenty of fluff in the trees and also higher in the protected bowl. In this photo, quite close to the hut, Kathy skins up towards Friendship Col.

Windswept Friendship Col.

Skiing up towards Sentinel Peak. The route is close to the left skyline.

The final couple hundred feet on Sentinel Peak are a fun scramble. Mount Sir Sanford, the biggest peak in the Selkirks, in the background.

Skiing back down to the hut, below Friendship col.

We also skied a number of steeper lines just to the east of Unicol. This is one that got away.

Not far above the hut, heading for a bit of tree-skiing to the east.

Above the hut, looking northeast towards Mount Sir William, hidden in the cloud.

Matt Culberson makes a statement while ripping his skins.

Kathy skiing down into the trees.

This is the kitchen, the center of all things important once back at the hut. SP, Janine and Dan divided the group of 20 into 6 smaller groups, each of which was responsible for one dinner and the following breakfast. We enjoyed some great food! And lots of wine!

Keeping up with the requirements for hot water was a full-time job.

Janine and Tito, busy with the shovels.

Kathy knits another pair of "two-toed" socks.

With a big wood supply and a fine stove, keeping the hut warm was no problem, even in the Canadian late-January winter.

On a windy day, up near the Unicol.

Wind-sculpted snow near Mount Sir William.

A view to the north from high on the Granite Glacier. Mount Sir William is the nice looking ski peak in the background.

This is one of those great, but elusive wind protected pockets that remained all week long. We only discovered it on the last sunny day of the trip.

Our last days ended much as the start of the trip began, with a delayed helicopter flight due to weather. But again, after a day's wait we were able to fly out. Here we unload as another group loads the machine to head into the hut.

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