We hear the thup thup thup before we see the small red helicopter. It circles the clearing near Sugar Lake outside Cherryville, BC and then drops down to the grass.
After a short time, I find myself sitting in the front seat next to the pilot. We lift up and cruise over the tree tops. We fly by the lake and the surface is a frozen glacial blue. As we fly north and east and up in elevation, the trees are dusted with snow and then covered in snow. The Monashees are still snow covered and we are heading into winter again.
Only a 10 minute flight brings us to Sol Mountain Lodge. The lodge is run by Aaron and Sabine and is a 10 bedroom lodge with indoor running water (bathrooms and showers!), an outdoor sauna, a large communal kitchen, dining room and living room. It has a cozy and homey feel right away.
We haul our gear inside, unpack the food, organize our room, eat lunch and head out into the wild. Here I go! (I’m nervous, but I know once I get moving I will be okay.)
Murray, B and I skin up and walk over to an area of gentle terrain. The snow is like smooth icing covering the hills and dusting the trees. Lovely, peaceful, quiet, snowflakes slowly drifting down from the clouds.
I make my first turns in the boot top powder. Exhilarating.
The afternoon goes by as we walk up, ski down, walk up, ski down, walk further up, ski down all the way to the lodge.
My legs and feet are humming. I have some sore spots on my feet from my borrowed boots. It has been a GREAT first day of backcountry skiing. I will see what tomorrow brings.