With the recent warm weather and rain, the trail into Gorman Lake is a bit icy on the corners on the lower section but once you get to the swicthbacks it returns to winter. Use extra caution otherwise you could find yourself in the scenery looking at the road. When a high pressure system moves in and the easy-to-get-to pow stashes are depleted, it’s time to explore and push a little further back or maybe try to get to that new zone you spotted on Google Earth.
We decided to try a few snowboard laps at the back of Lang Creek that we’ve been eyeing up for awhile. Heading out on a Monday will keep the crowd factor down to a minimum, and there was only about half a dozen trucks in the parking lot, so we didn’t see anyone all day.
All the climbs were set up, which allowed for some of my favorite riding: sit-down rooping. Sit-down rooping is exactly what it sounds like. You do everything, and go everywhere you normally would on a sled, but sitting down. The climb up to the Gorman/Lang col can be a bit sporty for sit-down rooping with all the trenches and coffins, but at least it holds your attention right? We stopped at the col for tea and to watch the sun poke up from Holt creek and cast some cool shadows on the the Dally chutes that run down to Gorman Lake. After careful consideration we passed on a snowboard lap down one of the chutes in favour of some sunnier runs, so we headed into Lang creek.
The view coming over the Gorman/Lang col is breathtaking especially with good visibility; you can see all the way to the Lang/Cirque col as well as some of the impressive peaks along the way. Dropping in, we followed the benches all the way down to the start of the climb to upper Lang, where one can reach East Quartz in the right conditions. Also up there is ‘In Flames Peak” named after a local legend and his heavy metal days. We did a quick loop around up there and some serious sit-down doughnuts before heading back down.
Following the creek a little farther takes you past some excellent boondocking in the trees with riding varying from steep and technical to not so steep and not so technical. Sit-down rooping is encouraged in this area. We carried on and doubled up to the Cirque col to ditch a couple of sleds and start our ridgewalk to the snowboard runs we chose. Moving further down the ridge each run ensured us fresh turns under the perfect bluebird sky. A late lunch and some more sit-down rooping finished off the rest of the good light for the day, and then it was time to start making our way out thus concluding another amazing day on snow with friends.