American Border Peak & Canadian Border Peak - abp - east face, cbp - sw faceDate:
I took this photo from the summit of Pleiades in early February, at first glance, a ski line on the east face of ABP seems improbable, but the photo captivated my imagination and eventually provoked me to attempt ABP, Twice I made it to the summit of Winchester in April, getting shut down first by a nasty cold, then by stormy weather.
approximate route I climbed and skied on ABP (photo from feb 12)
On Thursday I went in heavy with extra food and gas. Bivying by the south face of Larrabee, the night was cold, and snow solid the next morning for the approach. The first sight of the east face of ABP was not inspiring. Conditions appeared to have deteriorated considerably since February - melted out and runnelled. I decided to keep circling 'round in hopes of more coverage on the NE aspect, there was. I climbed up moderate glaciated slopes for about a thousand feet, then went left onto the steep east face, following what appeared to be the least icy way. The way was complicated, a few times I thought I would dead end in a chute and have to back track, but it went, twisting and turning up chutes and ribs.
Conditions were a little scary. There was lots of icy slide worn neve, and lots of crust, with powder here and there shallowly burying the slickened neve.
There was just barely enough snow clinging to the summit nub to make it skiable. Exposure was intense, especially looking down the sheer ~1000' cliff of the west face. I clicked into my skis and cautiously made my way down. Lots of crust, ice, death balls, and edgy runnels made catching a tip and taking a slide for life a frightening possibility. Friendly snow conditions such as pow or corn would have made this a much different experience, instead I was on edge the whole time.
I headed back to my bivy feeling good, and decided to ski the cool looking southwest face of Canadian Border Peak the next day.
Approaching CBP was somewhat of a pain in the ass - probably just a few miles, but lots of up and down getting over cleavers of high basins. The SW face of CBP was fun to shred, much less serious than the east face of ABP, and conditions were ideal for fast turns. I skied the sw face from 50 feet below the summit where the snow ended.
The next morning I skied lookers left on south face of Larrabee, nice & friendly low stress conditions.
South West face CBP
Views from the summit of ABP
east face abp, no bueno
conditions low on abp
truns on moderate slopes down low on abp
north face of larrabee
abp from somewhere on cbp
view of international border
I already miss the soft hazy red sunsets over Tomyhoi.