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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Silverthorne, Colo.
    Posts
    291

    Valenciennes Ski Week (near Icefall Lodge)

    Last week four of us from Colorado joined guide Pierre Hungr for a week at a base camp we set up near Mt. Valenciennes (at the head of Mons Creek, south of, but in sight of, Icefall Lodge). Making a separate trip report for this site is too much trouble (we came out one day early for a medical emergency at home so my focus is limited), so I will send you to my web page for the report and photos.

    More photos will come in so there will be an update or two to the site in a week or so.

    http://stanwagon.com/wagon/canskiing/Valenciennes.html

    Highlights:

    * Several days of bluebird weather (with powder on the right aspects), allowing access to amazing alpine terrain: straddling the Continental Divide, allowing for some cool loops.

    * I had a total knee replacement in July (age 63) and was of course pleased that my knee was able to do this with no down time for resting.

    * Saw a wolverine den; also a mermaid den.

    Teaser pics:

    Kim on a wonderful slope.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A view of the Lyell Icefield and the terrain of Icefall Lodge and their outlying huts. In this picture one can (at the full res) zoom in and see Lyell Hut on the plateau between the two nunataks.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by StanWagon; 04-28-2015 at 11:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    11,293
    Stan - it's always a pleasure to read your exploits and see the new terrain you cover. Hope your wife is OK and that your knee surgery also holds up

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Golden, BC
    Posts
    1,355
    I spy the east couloir of Arras- third last pic in your blog. Always wondered if it went off the top like the north. The valley bottom (~1100m) actually looks fatter now than it did in march, how interesting this winter has been. Looks like a fun trip

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Silverthorne, Colo.
    Posts
    291
    I had never seen that east side of Arras. Pretty cool how it resembles the famous front side. I know that two at least of the front couloirs have been skied, but I thought by booting up and starting the descent well below the top. But you clearly say that one can ski from "the top". Awesome.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Golden, BC
    Posts
    1,355
    You mostly see the west side couloirs from Icefall. You'd probably have to be on the Lyell icefield to see the north side. There are"two" couloirs on the north, but the lookers left one is way too off camber to bother skiing. West side doesn't go off the top, but north and apparently east as well does. Got to within 50 or 100m of summit on the north before hitting facets and bailing.

    North face (my pic, this march). West couloirs are visible on the right:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Vanity Fair
    Posts
    2,695
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Stan - it's always a pleasure to read your exploits and see the new terrain you cover. Hope your wife is OK and that your knee surgery also holds up
    what he said, getting that text must have sucked. nice pictures!
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Silverthorne, Colo.
    Posts
    291
    Just home after 6 or so days in the hospital. Yay. We came out late Thursday and Friday was a bad weather day anyway, so the damage ski-wise was minimal. Alpine Helicopters, as always, was tremendous in meeting our needs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    231
    Awesome looking trip. Cool that you got to explore some new terrain. Hope the wife ended up being fine. We had Pierre as well. That guy was a machine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Silverthorne, Colo.
    Posts
    291
    Did you do Pierre's recent Lyell Traverse? One of the pics from a high point (new camera, high resolution) allows one to see the Lyell Hut (small and white) high on the plateau. Cool.

    Yes, we are back home. I spent 5 days on a couch in the hospital after the drive to Denver. All good now. It was indeed helpful that I came out when I did.

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