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2016 Backcountry Trip Reports => March 2016 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: discostew on 03/18/16, 03:26 PM



Title: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: discostew on 03/18/16, 03:26 PM
This was in Feb, but hopefully the TAY gods don't mind? My wife and I spent a week in late March at Icefall Lodge last year and were blown away by the terrain there. There are so many huts to explore in BC, I figure there's no point doing a trip to the same hut twice. But after too much waffling, by Dec. we found ourselves without a trip booked so we made a last minute decision to return to the guaranteed good time that is Icefall. We were not disappointed.

Video of the down:
https://vimeo.com/158303769

Photo dump of the up (mostly):

Starting the day up the drainage the lodge sits in
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1715/25136836180_d9367d34c2_b.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1710/25432435975_06af214806_b.jpg[/img]

Joining a guided trip as a couple is a bit of a crapshoot based on the people. We lucked out and ended up skiing everyday with a super fun group who wanted to pound vert and did ironman triathlons in their spare time. As the only short-legged asthmatic splitboarder in the group, I got this view a lot. They apparently didn't mind though, as we're booked to do a trip with them next year already!
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1518/25136850180_7f67c98b97_b.jpg[/img]

The top part of the 400m NE-facing run called Home Run that ends right at the lodge. We ended half our days with this run.
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1473/25136858610_28c9e2c879_b.jpg[/img]

We're from Vancouver, so we don't get much of this
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1689/25406319296_eda44cb4d6_b.jpg[/img]

Heading up the Diamond Glacier. We did this exact tour last year, but with views like this, I didn't mind
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1565/25136914820_7a8b054cd2_b.jpg[/img]

Not a bad lunch spot
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1690/25432557405_abd90e0784_b.jpg[/img]

Cool layers in this serac
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1669/25065018129_9ae3828e1d_b.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1656/25065040929_a262915044_b.jpg[/img]

Mandatory shot of Mt. Arras. Larry, the owner of the lodge, apparently skied one of those couloirs. What couloirs? Exactly
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1487/24805951093_263b742e4e_b.jpg[/img]

The view from our room at sunrise
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1638/24805967973_8a39c8b83e_b.jpg[/img]

Our tracks down Home Run
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1455/25406517536_23f8669f60_b.jpg[/img]

Icefall has 2 satellite huts in the high alpine. We went to the Lyell Hut at 2800m. Our tracks down Keffi Pass on the way to the hut
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1613/25339736271_d94afd6447_b.jpg[/img]

The scenery was tolerable
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1603/25137125540_e8cdb24e9e_b.jpg[/img]

Skinning to Crampon col (crampons not required today), which leads to the Lyell Icefield that the hut sits on
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1589/25065186969_6c92bac84d_b.jpg[/img]

Our guide Pierre with the Lyell Icefield in the background. Pierre was an amazing guide - an absolute machine
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1613/25406628346_c33d45b847_b.jpg[/img]

Pure N-facing goodness down from Crampon Col
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1695/25137233030_07532a3e45_b.jpg[/img]

Lunch on the Icefield
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1445/25406710476_b117b058f2_b.jpg[/img]

Our tracks down from the col, and cornice-triggered slide on the left
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1693/25406719426_c23acea40a_b.jpg[/img]

The long trek across the Lyell icefield
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1475/25314558012_10e11e65c4_b.jpg[/img]

Almost at the Lyell hut at 2800m
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1518/25065325869_4c16157050_b.jpg[/img]

View from the hut at sunrise
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1591/25432956675_8b7981160e_b.jpg[/img]

Probably the highest outhouse in Canada. I had the misfortune of needing to visit this thing 4 times. I blame it on HAFE (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_flatus_expulsion), which one of the docs in our crew verified was a real thing.
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1645/25432980695_0e987e98ac_b.jpg[/img]

The icefield at sunrise
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1466/25406855396_1422ebd73b_b.jpg[/img]

On our way to summit Christian Peak 3400m
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1668/24806331533_9eb35bc79b_b.jpg[/img]

The final bootpack up to the summit
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1676/25340100891_0df4132e2d_b.jpg[/img]

Yours truly at 3400m, the highest I've ever been without being in a plane
[img width=400]https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlp1/v/t1.0-9/11011956_10154119860855921_344327583809172534_n.jpg?oh=c00ebaf55ecac0c48736d3744b63fae9&oe=578F0F21[/img]

Heading back up Crampon Col and looking back at the icefield. The hut is on the most prominent hunk of rock
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1483/25137526380_b4c3365a3b_b.jpg[/img]

Descending the south side of the col
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1563/25314916502_2ee3f767a9_b.jpg[/img]

Tracks left by the other group down La Clytte peak. We're next!
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1476/25065694059_8391c4a3df_b.jpg[/img]

La Clytte, post gangbang by our group. Pretty sure I'm the first to ever make that joke
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1530/25433334605_81a044ec90_b.jpg[/img]

Skinning up Kemmel mtn
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1572/25433349535_4726e46171_b.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1645/24802804764_df100a12da_b.jpg[/img]

The view from the summit of Kemmel. I think that's Mt. Sir Sandford?
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1677/25340437521_ce455042ba_b.jpg[/img]

Hero pose by the cook at 3100m
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1641/25137828000_13488ab706_b.jpg[/img]

Our tracks up and down Kemmel
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1625/24802891114_66420ccebd_b.jpg[/img]

Night shot using the lodge BBQ and a deck of cards as a tripod
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1659/24806813493_2d2eaab754_b.jpg[/img]

Skinning up a moraine after descending from the notch right of center. The part of the video containing the most faceshots is from that run.
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1699/25433517295_4379281670_b.jpg[/img]

Another shot of Home Run
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1528/25315193182_56d722bde5_b.jpg[/img]

Our last runs in Alien Bowl the morning we flew out
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1463/25407435676_b11cd35b40_b.jpg[/img]

Alien bowl, shredded!
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1487/24803024254_879374564f_b.jpg[/img]

So much radness we never got to
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1508/25315261882_7fdf9d263a_b.jpg[/img]

Our last skin back to the lodge
[img width=800]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1707/25315271522_478628e563_b.jpg[/img]

I highly recommend Icefall. With so many other huts to explore, I probably won't be back for a while, but there is a ton of terrain I've never even seen in the 2 weeks I've spent there, let alone ridden. Off to Larry's new hut Snowfall Lodge next year with the ironman crew! Time to start training.


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: JimD on 03/19/16, 03:57 AM
Thanks for the beta and excellent photos of a great looking place. Are there showers at the lodge? How was the food? $$$?


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: Charlie Hagedorn on 03/19/16, 09:04 AM
Wow. That looks like a ton of fun. The photo of Mt. Arras is mind-bending.


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: discostew on 03/19/16, 01:05 PM
Quote from: JimD on 03/19/16, 03:57 AM
Thanks for the beta and excellent photos of a great looking place. Are there showers at the lodge? How was the food? $$$?
There are watering cans hung from a hook on the ceiling with a carabiner that you can fill with hot water. Works great as a shower. Food was amazing. Soup and snacks (as much as I normally eat for dinner) ready when you get back to the lodge. Big dinner 2 hours later - enough time for a sauna/shower. We paid $2150 CAD for the week, so like $20 US right now :( (icefall.ca). If I had your yankee money, I'd book and try to pay in full now!


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: lrudholm on 03/19/16, 01:39 PM
Beautiful


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: jtack on 03/19/16, 07:28 PM
Thanks for the wonderful trip report, fantastic pictures, and by the look of it fantastic snow!  Just green with envy!


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: runcle on 03/20/16, 02:54 PM
And your very own disco clothes! Stew...I may be totally wrong but your a...shredding fool.  I'm smiling right with you on the last few seconds of that video!

Thanks for the stoke!


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: Don Heath on 03/20/16, 04:24 PM
"As the only short-legged asthmatic splitboarder in the group..."

Yeah, but it looked like you showed 'em how on the way down!  Nice video, Stew!  And Wow!  the scenery looks fantastic.  Thanks.


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: discostew on 03/20/16, 09:20 PM
Quote from: Rusty Knees on 03/20/16, 04:24 PM
"As the only short-legged asthmatic splitboarder in the group..."

Yeah, but it looked like you showed 'em how on the way down!  Nice video, Stew!  And Wow!  the scenery looks fantastic.  Thanks.
Haha, yeah in my humble opinion, surfing pow will always be superior to skiing it. And, despite almost always bringing up the rear on the skin track, due to my pow hunger I was the only one do an extra lap of Home Run one day, thus logging the most vert of anyone during our week. Not that it's a contest... ;)

Thanks for the kind words all! Glad to fuel the stoke that I get from all the TRs on here!


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: Mr_Burns on 03/22/16, 08:23 AM
Beautiful photos and cool video- great trip report! I am headed to Icefall in a few weeks and I wondered, was there anything you took along that you didn't need or anything you didn't take that you wish you had? Thanks!


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: discostew on 03/22/16, 11:08 AM
Quote from: Mr_Burns on 03/22/16, 08:23 AM
Beautiful photos and cool video- great trip report! I am headed to Icefall in a few weeks and I wondered, was there anything you took along that you didn't need or anything you didn't take that you wish you had? Thanks!


I brought my own harness. They supply them for the tours that go on glaciers but they were pretty big and bulky. Also brought flipflops for the shower/sauna because the floor is cold and I'm a pansy. They have electricity via normal outlets so you can bring chargers/ipads (though you won't have enough energy after dinner to use your ipad). They have a laptop up there you can use for email. I brought my boot and splitboard crampons although I didn't use either. Have a blast! Beg your guide to take you to Vitamin P


Title: Re: Icefall Lodge, BC Rockies, Feb 2016
Post by: Mr_Burns on 03/23/16, 08:12 AM
Vitamin P and light harness, check. Thanks!


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