Last week Mike Shoof, Henry Barrett, and myself, Luke Nelson, embarked on an an epic mission to a line known as Dibble Couloir. This line is one of the most prominent in the Fernie area, staring at you from nearly every ridgetop around.
View from North Broadwood.
Dibble Couloir: View from the 3 Sisters.
View from Mary Queen.
Dibble Creek Road.
Shoof Crossing the Creek.
We started our mission with a 6 km skin / dirt hike, to our base camp. With a 4 meter base still lurking on the lizard range, I was expecting a little less dirt, but the Bull River does not accumulate the same snowpacks as the micro climate of the Lizards.
Our slog to base camp was an adventure in itself, with 20º temps, creek crossings, and pulling our way up through alder fields.
When we finally arrived at base camp, we started a fire, ate some dinner, enjoyed the sunset, and passed out, dreaming about the epic line awaiting us in the morning.
When we awoke, around 3:30 AM, we started to make our way up the bowl. There was a good crust that developed overnight, making perfect conditions for dropping my headlamp, and watching it disapear down the mountainside. Luckily we were just seeing the first hint of daylight, so my headlamp was unnessecary for the rest of the day, and it was off already, making it impossible to find, a small price to pay for such a great day.
Hungary Alpine Glow.
As soon as the sun hit us it was HOT, at around 6:30 AM we were already sweating. Shortly after sunrise we got our first close up view of the line, it looked amazing. There was a bit of debris at the bottom, but nothing too big, so we had a snack, put on our crampons, and started to bootpack. Not too far up , and there was a barrage of ice chunks trundeling down the chute at us, Mike took one in the cheek, and was not stoked.
Looking up Bootpack.
Shoof: Hiding from the Ice Falls
We were about 3/4 of the way up at 9:00 AM and things were really starting to heat up, so we made the decision to turn around.
The skiing was pretty good, just softening up enough to slarve some good May slush. We all made it down safely and sat at the bottom for “lunch” admiring our line.
After lunch, we skied the slush back to camp , took down the tent, and started our slog back to the truck. Instead of downclimbing the snowless alder field we skied down some rediculous debris to the old road. There was probably twice as much dirt walking on the way out, due to the rapid melting while we were skiing.
Overall we had a great mission. Not summiting the line just gives us another excuse to come back to this beautiful zone, with so much more to offer, and do it all over again. From the top.
Dibble Couloir: View From Galloway Saw Mill.
Dibble Creek right beside Dibble Glacier
49° 33′ 44.9352″ N, 115° 25′ 26.2452″ W
To check out the original article, head to Biglines.com