On the solstice last week, Andrew Eckels, Stefan and Louie set out at sunrise to circumnavigate the Gold Creek Valley. Here’s his report from that trip followed by the video:

We had intended to stay high but the east facing snow was sticky and slow, and Stefan knew of an awesome line right near Mt Thompson. We dropped in getting a 3000 vertical foot run of steep corn snow, and set the stage for a great adventure. The line took us almost all the way to the bottom of the valley before it turned into a waterfall. Unfortunately my camera battery died at this point in the trip, but we found an adventurous way around the falls and opted to bushwhack up the valley, instead of climbing back up the line, making for an epic day. It took us three hours to go a mile and a half, battling slide alder, devils club and other prickly brushes that choked the valley floor. We set our packs down for the day before reaching our destination of Chikiman lake, as the sun began to set. The next morning we climbed straight up from camp to the summit of Chikiman peak, the head of the Gold Creek valley, and skied its steep SE face into wide open rolling terrain that brought us to glacier lake. From here we made several short climbs and long traverses, enjoying the scenery, and the feeling of passing so quickly through the mountains, that only skis can allow. After our last descent we quickly found the trail back to the car avoiding another bushwhack, but faced with another problem. Stefan had left his keys in Louie’s car where we had started. Amazingly Stefan confidently got into his 1970 something volvo and hot-wired it. We drove back over the pass as the sun set stoked and content with an incredible trip!

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