Mt. Cain Snow Scene Gallery - Backcountry Skiing in the West Bowl Regional Park - Vancouver Island, Canada
Each snow scene in the gallery on this page shows the up close and personal nature of the mountains that form the top of the West Bowl Regional Park at Mt. Cain on Vancouver Island. This is an out of bound area adjacent to the patrolled ski area where Mt Cain and Mt Able meet.
The snow in this bowl looks superb but don't be temped to ski or ride it without the proper avalanche equipment and knowledge of how to get back to the ski area further down the valley.
1. This picture shows the left ridge above the top of the rope tow. Some power hounds hike up this ridge to ride this slope or to drop off into the East Bowl.
2. Although you can't see it in this picture there are several ski and snowboard tracks down the center saddle. That is a long hike.
3. This snow scene shows the vast expanse of the West Bowl Regional Park. Both the slope areas are avalanche dangers with the right snow conditions.
4. Mt. Able is a beautiful snow scene on a sunny winter day after a fresh snow fall.
5. The scope and grandeur of this snow scene uplifts the heart. This shot of Mt. Able is a prime candidate for the 2006 version of my Vancouver Island Calendar.
Obey Closed Signs
Most ski resorts will post a Closed sign at popular out of bounds exits when they feel that the conditions are just too dangerous.
In most states of the US and provinces of Canada ignoring a Closed sign is illegal.
The penalty for transgression will vary from mountain to mountain but could include a fine from local police and a lifetime ban of lift privileges at the ski area.
Out of Bounds Essentials
If you are going to drop under those ropes, you should be caring an avalanche transceiver on the 457 KHz frequency and carry equipment for self-rescue, (a shovel and probe).
You should always go with at least one other person with the same equipment and knowledge of how to use it.
Unless every member of your team is properly equipped it does you little good to carry a transceiver. Remember every minute is precious when finding and freeing an avalanche victim. Your chances are slim if someone in your party doesn't find you.
Tips for Beginning Back Country Skiers
Here are some tips for the beginning outback skier.
- Get and use fatter skis while skiing in-bounds.
- Work on mastering your parallel and jump turns as well as side slipping steep slopes.
- Ski more conservatively when you ski out of bounds. Remember there will be no ski patrollers coming along with a sled and snow mobile to hall you off to the first aid hut.
- Try and stay on slopes that are less than 30% grade. This makes it easier to control your speed and anticipate problem areas.
A wide variety of un-groomed snow conditions may exist on any out-of-bounds adventure. Above all remember to pause from time to time and take pictures of each snow scene.