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Here is 2nd installment of memorable ski adventure to Montana, Glacier Park and British Columbia: Day l left Whitefish Montana on Sat 2l Feb on the only sunny day we encountered from ll Feb until l3 March....The peaks along the highway were diamond white in their brilliance ever larger and more magnificent as we proceeded North in our rental Neon...near Invermere, road went through Hoodos which are eroded sandstone pinnacles and at Radium saw a whole cliffside of big horn sheep!!!!! During the entire 280 mile drive from Whitefish to Golden, BC don't think we saw more than 40 vehicles either direction...many indications that summer is busy e.g. snowed- in campgrounds and tourist attractions but in Winter this area is remote!!!!! Hit Marys Motel for Sat night which was a mistake......with 50% more snowfall than average the snowmobilers were out in fore and Mary's was their HQ...legions of Dodge and Ford diesel pickups towing trailers with up to 4 snow sleds came and went all night.. Day 2 Sunday ....At any rate, rendezvous at the Canadian Helicopter Hangar in Golden early AM and found the pilot Don MacTighe leading a very comprehensive safety check even demonstrating where the emergency locator beacons were stored, how to remove the heli doors, access emerg food, shovels and first aid gear....turns out that this run had suffered a mishap (crash) some years earlier with one of the skier guests becoming a paraplegic. Marilyn and I had flown about l6 heli trips in past mostly in Bell Jet Rangers and never participated in a drill like this. Craft today was an A-Star similar to the DHART rig at Dartmouth Hitchcock Med Center. Our 25 min flight from Golden NE to Wildcat Basin was uneventful in light snow, but the crags, precipices and cliffs would have prevented survival in an emergency.... we landed at 6700 feet at Mistaya Hut, a ten year old post and beam structure, built from insect destroyed timber on the Crown Lands of Brit Columbia by Ron Blaue from Colorado and his friend Jane Girvan from B.C. Building is 28 x 28 feet with a common room ground level consisting of 24 hr wood stove, and dining table with adjoining propane fueled kitchen....a small washroom and drying room for gear as well....2nd level had 5 sleeping rooms all with awesome views of Trapper Peark, Barbette Mt and other l0,000 footers on the Continental Divide according to Jane and Ron...but with the constant snow and clouds the views our trip were minimal. Surrounding the main hut were a wood fired sauna building, a guides hut, a workshop and a solar greenhouse, and 2 outhouses with styrofoam seats for comfort (?) After a pickup lunch we met the ten other guests ( hut takes l2 skiers/week) and our two guides Megan and Kobi, both CMH heliguides on a holiday(?)....skied out to a nearby col and practiced transceiver drills with our Ortovox units until the guides were satisfied with our prowess. Then, skinned up about l400 feet to Monta Vista with the guides breaking trail through 2 feet of new snow on a 6-l0 foot settled base....these Western guides skin up steeply with as few switchbacks as possible and with trees and tree wells surrounding us there was no room for error! When we finally attained the ridge we were well above tree line with flat light, some windpack and also some altitude effects....at home we had skinned up at least l,000 to l,200 feet three times weekly at KMart or elsewhere and thought we were in good shape....what a laugh!!!! A 65 year old ex-nun from Vancouver put us to shame. Our fellow skiers were split 50:50 re gear with the Chessex family from Montreal using AT gear and the rest of us on teles. Except for Marilyn and me the tele contingent used TUA megas....and T-2 and T-3s.......mostly with Raineys......Marilyn used here Atomic Tourcap Lights with 3pins and Asolo Extremes and I had my 4 year old Kazama Headwalls, l0 yr old Chouinard front throw cables, and Liberos. The ski down was a challenge....steep, flat light, wind drifted above tree line, so you stayed pretty much on a wind crust with occasional snow snakes, then good powder in the forest, sinking knee deep but tree wells everywhere. Later in the week we enjoyed cliffs, gullies, terminal moraines, large boulders, waterfalls but this first day was straight forward fall-line. Back to the hut about 4:30; Megan and Kobi got the sauna fired up and we all told tall tales and tried to keep our towels in place, not always successfully. Helen Barry our cook from Banff served up memorable fare family style and after a few beers or wine the tall tales kept coming on strong....most of us were in bunks by 9 PM. It was still snowing. In the next installment I shall try to describe some of the more hairy ski adventures and provide some descriptions of the glaciers and other terrain as well as brief resumes of our new-found friends. Hugh H - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont. To unsubscribe, visit http://list.uvm.edu/archives/skivt-l.html