The first time I attempted to climb and ski the Snow Spider was around 15 years ago. But with poor visibility and a touchy snowpack, I ended up just looking at a map and compass for most of the three-day trip. The second time was about five years later, with much of the same results.
So recently when my brother Andy said some friends were going out for three days of skiing with the main objective to ski the Snowspider, my initial motivational level was pretty low. By the time I was packed for two days, I was starting to look forward to it a bit more. I figured I would keep my expectations low, then build from there as the trip progressed.
Soon enough I found myself at Vantage Col, and my brother and I could see three little dots climbing up the Twin-One Couloir. That must be Maddy, Cam and Richard, kicking steps for the route. My watch was telling me it was the afternoon, I knew Andy would be more than happy to put the hammer down to catch the group in the couloir. Within ten minutes, I found myself leading two people I had just met, (they opted out of the couloir… and were patiently waiting for Maddy, Rich and Cam) to where we would spend the night. Later that evening I was happy to see everyone back from a safe journey and ski on the Twin-One Couloir.
After a good nights sleep, I looked outside to see a clear bluebird day. I was stoked and slightly anxious to get going.
After some route finding difficulties and snow concerns, I was finally on the summit of the Snow Spider. It seemed ironic that I enjoyed just 15 minutes on the summit that took 15 years to get to.
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To read more about our trip, check out Maddy’s post.
Mike Traslin grew up skiing on the North Shore Mountains of British Columbia. Starting on plastic skis at the age of 3, his passion has remained steady ever since. Being Canadian, it was always ice hockey and skiing for Mike in the winter, but soon it turned into racing gates and then freestyle skiing. And once he discovered powder and backcountry skiing he was hooked, and never looked back.