Dave Norona/for metro vancouver
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British columbia is a vast, vast province with unending incredible mountain peaks filled with tons of light, fluffy snow that can be almost impossible to get to. Thankfully, high alpine cabins allow backcountry enthusiasts to drop in for a few days or weeks and experience this untouched beauty.
Sol Mountain Lodge sits at 6,200 feet above sea level in the pristine alpine of the Monashee Mountain Range. Only in its third year, it has established itself as one of the premier mountain lodges in the world, a great spot for ski touring. The 3,700-square-foot building offers breath-taking views out every window, flush toilets, hot showers and a full-time gourmet chef. All these comforts allow you to recover after an amazing day in the mountains.
Our early daytime arrival by Arrow Helicopters allowed us to gear up and head out for some afternoon turns with our certified mountain guide and owner, Aaron Cooperman. Every turn you ski must be earned out here and Aaron led us on a meandering easy tour up to the top of Mission Ridge at 7,100 feet. On the other side we were rewarded with the deepest snow I had ever experienced. Words cannot do it justice but the smiles on our faces at the bottom said it all. After a magical few runs, we returned to the cabin to enjoy an amazing dinner before grabbing some beers and heading off to the huge wood-burning sauna.
Early the next morning we awoke to sunny skies. The warm sun baked our bodies as we traversed across Mission Ridge toward Mount Fosthall. The snow on the north-facing slopes was incredible and we lay beautiful turns down on some amazing runs. Upon reaching Caribou Pass we could see our objective for the day. The backside of Mount Fosthall and a cool run called AvaLung, a 40-degree slope totaling 1,600 vertical feet of pure bliss. We began the climb behind Aaron who set an easy track right up to the top of the bowl. Here we boot packed another 60 metres up the narrow spine to a perfect spot. In front of me lay the perfect open bowl with not a track on it. I was drooling as Aaron dropped in and tore it up. Upon his thumbs up, I clicked my poles together and slid over the edge. The snow was perfect and I could not hold back my laughter. I was even giddier as I watched Kim and the rest of the group enjoy every turn. This is what ski touring is all about!
If you’re looking for the ultimate getaway into the mountains to explore on skis, snowshoes or cross-country skis then contact Sol Mountain Lodge and book your trip … you’ll be glad you did! For more information log on to www.solmountain.com.
Peak Cuisine CookBook
Description: After a day playing in the mountains you need great food. Tara Sylvestre created the Peak Cuisine cookbook after her friends begged her for a book highlighting her amazing skills. The 75-page book is filled with healthy dishes that are simple to make and, above all, delicious.
Price range: $25
Where to find it: www.peakcuisine.com
G3 Rapid Transit Skis
Description: Load these wicked Rapid Transit skis up with G3’s incredible telemark bindings or a pair of AT bindings and you will be shredding everything from crud to deep powder. Fat and stable, lightweight and the first super-fat ski with an asymmetrical ride.
Price range: $715
Where to find it: www.genuineguidegear.com
Apple Ipod Nano
Description: Apple has revolutionized the way we carry our music. The 8-gig Nano fits into your smallest pocket and provides you with all your awesome music while you’re climbing and descending breathtaking peaks.
Price range: $299
Where to find it: www.apple.ca
IceBreaker LongSleeve Crew
Description: This simple yet stylish IceBreaker Crew is made of 100 per cent merino wool. It keeps you warm and dry during any outdoor pursuit. It won’t hold odour or lose shape on even the longest backcountry trip.
Price range: $150
Where to find it: www.ice-breaker.com