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Backcountry Group Dynamics: Making it Work

Fri, 25th Mar 2016  /  By Vince Shuley
backcountry group dynamics

An often overlooked, but extremely important factor in any ski trip, is backcountry group dynamics. Last week the Whistler Museum hosted a talk as part of its Speaker Series titled "Group Dynamics in the Wild." Two Sea to Sky expedition skiers; Bridget McClarty and Holly Walker gave presentations about their own experiences of backcountry group dynamics on trips both big and small. Research has shown that groups of four or more skiers in a backcountry group are at higher risk of causing avalanches. We also know that "Human Factors" play a significant part in how decisions are made in the backcountry regardless of group size. But when backcountry skiers choose to embark...

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Skiing the Duffey – Mt. Melvin in a day

Fri, 4th Mar 2016  /  By Vince Shuley
skiing the duffey

Scratching the exploratory itch is what drives a lot of backcountry travelers. Some of the most memorable adventures begin by pouring over topographical maps and Google Earth imagery on the kitchen table. And while skiing the Duffey Lake Road north of Pemberton was pioneered by grizzled mountain men decades ago, the personal emotion felt when summiting a new peak and then descending its prominent line never gets old. [caption id="attachment_2942" align="alignnone" width="710"] Approaching through the treeline meadows in a distinctively thinner snow pack than Whistler or other parts of the Duffey[/caption] Deep into the Duffey Downton Creek is an area that lies one st...

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Skiing the east face of Vantage Peak, Duffey Lake Road

Fri, 8th Jan 2016  /  By Vince Shuley
Skiing east face of Vantage Peak

In case you hadn't heard, December of 2015 was a an all-time month for snow. The Pig Alley Weather Station on Whistler Mountain measured 338cm for the month, making it the fourth most snowy December in the last 15 years. This made for amazing resort skiing during the storms as well plenty of alpine shredding once the skies cleared. But the resort can get busy – very busy – during the Christmas and New Year holiday week and while there were some anomaly days where the highway was packed like sardines and the lift lines were half full, the crowds did eventually find their way to the slopes. What better time to head out and explore some backcountry areas? [caption i...

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