Mt. Cain Skiing Picture Gallery - Back Country Skiing in the East Bowl - Vancouver Island, Canada
Each skiing picture in the gallery on this page shows the up close and personal nature of the mountains that form the East Bowl at Mt. Cain on Vancouver Island. This is an out of bound area adjacent to the patrolled ski area.
From the amount of tracks we saw on the day we visited, it is obvious that this is a popular out of bounds area. Some skiers and snowboarders just don't want to stay between the lines - the ski area's in-bounds ropes. Life in the outback calls to them with a powerful voice.
1. This is the top of the east bowl. You can ski from the top of this picture if you are willing to hike up from the top of the rope tow.
2. This photo shows the gap at the top of the east bowl. You can traverse all the way to that gap and even hike up the ridge beyond to ski the slope to the left of the picture.
3. Swinging a bit more to the east you can see the full view of the south-east ridge. The trees here are fairly small and widely spaced for great tree skiing.
4. This skiing picture show how the valley opens up and the mountains in the distance. Mt Cain is at the center of the island and tends to have better snow than mountains near the coast.
5. 5. This shot looks down the ridge that forms the east side of the Mt. Cain ski boundary. If you ski or snowboard this out of bound area you should be prepared for the hike back to the lower Ridge ski run.
What is the Allure of Out of Bounds?
What is the motivation for leaving the groomed runs? It's a vast area of untracked powder where you can cut that perfectly symmetrical track. Shot a skiing picture that will take you breath away plus an extended break from long lift lines perhaps.
Why not, you may ask? If you are not prepared for what you may find or are improperly equipped you're out of bounds adventure could end in tragedy.
Outside those ropes there are no trail signs, marked hazards, groomed runs to cut back to, ski patrollers or avalanche control.
If you don't know where you are going you can miss the only exit back to the ski area and end up requiring an expensive rescue or facing death from injury or exposure. That is one skiing picture you never want taken!
The allure of the back country is powerful but local knowledge is key. If you are with someone that has good local knowledge they will be able to advise you as to what is safe and where to cut off to get back to the ski area.