After a fun little January 1st outing, Stefan and I decided to go exploring Hollyburn/Strachan area a bit more. I’ve bought new downhill boots (Technica Mach1 LV 130), so wanted to see if I can tour in them at all (answer: yes! 11am-3:30pm trip was acceptably comfortable, with excellent support on the way down).

We’ve parked our cars at the overnight Cypress Mountain parking lot, and started to skin up SW face of Hollyburn around 11:30am. We took a bit of a break as we got to Hollyburn shoulder, and then continued onto the peak. We skied down NW, and on the way down slightly veered skier’s left to avoid going down a gully. This got us to the downhill runs. With help of two lifts got to top of Strachan. We skied down SW on the out-of-bounds slope of Strachan which we scoped out earlier from top of Hollyburn, which was great fun. We saw signs of a small slab slide with a defined crown starting on a convex slope, and some snow debry here and there. As I was skiing down, once there was a small sluff slide under me. The slope leads down to a meadow adjacent to Collins downhill run. This was followed by two more out-of-bounds runs, NW from top of Sky Chair through the glades down to Howe Sound Crest Trail, and then following it back to the downhill area at the bottom of Top Gun.

All of the skiing was great: steep, fun, and lots of untouched snow (especially on Hollyburn, lots of out-of-bounds skiers/riders on Strachan). Snow was significantly heavier going NW from Strachan towards HSCT. I had an unpleasant crash there in the woods: my left ski binding detached as I was making a turn on it, and I tumbled down tweaking my shoulder slightly. Perhaps the DIN settings are too permissive? This isn’t the first time it happened, so I might dial it up a notch.

I was back at home in Vancouver’s West End only by 4:30pm due to heavy Lions Gate bridge traffic.

Hot tea break on the shoulder. Look NE towards the peak. It's fun to remember that we skied down these trees just a couple of days ago.
Looking SW, back the way we came.
Our line down Hollyburn is clearly visible on this 82 year old photograph! Source.
Our faint line down Strachan, if I'm reading this (very) old photograph correctly. Source.
Amazing views of the Howe Sound, next to Sky chair, on top of the out-of-bounds forest leading down to HSCT; getting ready to ski down.
Scoping out our future ski adventures? View of the HSCT, St Marks summit, Mt Unnecessary and the Lions.