The weekend was looking promising. After many days of uninspiring, snow-less conditions, the weather patterns were stacking up to ensure a welcome powder respite from the recent crusts and hardpack. The forecast wasn’t calling for the grand-daddy of all storms or anything, but enough to soften up the backcountry snowpack, and incentivize us enough to make a plan for a cabin trip.
I met up with Chopper Steve in Whistler Friday night, and plans were formulated over a couple beers. The weekend’s objectives were not so much the priority, but the focus was rather the simple act of escaping into the mountains, and not really worrying about conditions, as they weren’t expected to be too mind-blowing.
The next morning we got out of Whistler at a leisurely pace, making the prerequisite stop for pastries on our way through Pemberton, and headed up the Duffy Road. As we wound our way up the highway, Steve’s phoned pinged through one last text message before we went out of service, from a friend reminding him of the party we were going to miss in Squamish that night. Yeah, yeah, parties are fun, but can they really hold a candle to ski adventures in the mountains? Besides, I had been daydreaming about it from my desk all work week, and was itching to get some ski touring miles in.
We arrived in the parking lot at the crack of noon, and I proceeded to start rounding up the array of gear strewn through the 4-Runner and stuffing it into my pack. Steve, who in a moment of foresight had packed that morning, casually put his ski boots on, drank coffee and ate pastries while watching me gather equipment. Once my bag was ready to go, I hurried to catch up with Steve in the packing process and went to throw my boots on. Wait a minute, my boots…
An expletive or two were hurled as I frantically searched the inside of the vehicle, turning over everything with the faint hope that they may have been hiding in an imaginary nook or cranny. I lurched around the outside of the truck thinking they had been kicked beneath it. No luck. Bummed, I turned to Steve to apologize, and attempt to deflect any derision he was ready to send my way for screwing up our backcountry ski weekend. To my surprise, he already had his boots off, pack in the car, and with a laugh he said, “Well, we have a party in Squamish to get to!” Although skiing is always his first priority, Steve has never been a hard person to convince to go party.
On our way back to civilization, calls were made, tickets were rounded up and costumes were acquired. Costumes, you ask? Oh yeah, this was no regular party, but the James Bondage Party, a freaky soiree where costumes were mandatory and cameras not allowed. Our party planning, unlike our ski planning, was actually so efficient that we made it back to Whistler with all the necessary accoutrements, and had time for a sweet lap off Decker in the Blackcomb slackcountry.
After partially salvaging the ski day, we fueled up and headed on down to Squamish for a rager of a party. There were hundreds of people in awesome outfits all dancing until the wee hours of the morning. All that dancing probably equated to the calories we would have burned with a few summited peaks that weekend on the Duffy, so in the end our unexpected change in plans turned into some good cross training for a future cabin trip. A future trip that I will definitely not forget my ski boots for.