In January 2022, an unprecedented snowpack at sea-level in Squamish, British Columbia meant that the classic rock climber’s playground – Siám’ Smánit (the Squamish Chief) – was open to skiers. We weren’t satisfied with simply skiing the slabs at the top or even down the regular trail.
We knew that JF Plouffe had previously skied the South Gully in the early 2000s so had our eyes on what appeared to be the plum line of the Chief – the North Gully. If you’ve climbed the rock route Angel’s Crest, you’ve looked down into the deep dark gully to your left. There was tons of snow in my driveway so it was just a question of if it was enough to cover the rocks.
Booting and skinning up the backside trail, we quickly realized there was LOTS of snow and we might be in business. We waded our way up to the second peak and looked down over Howe Sound. We made turns down the slab and then dropped into the gully. From there you can see how good it was!
In the days after, several other parties repeated the line, while Nick Elson and Jessie McAuley completed the next one over, the North North Gully. Sadly, the rain has returned to Squamish and we’re back to dreaming about skiing the Chief.
We’d like to acknowledge that the Squamish Chief is a critical part of the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh peoples. We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to recreate in this territory.