In Search of First Descents
We set out to ski the Bonnington Traverse – a 4 day, 60-odd km, walk high up in the Bonnington Range in the Selkirk Mountains just SouthWest of Nelson. The Bonnington is a much lesser-known traverse than its famous counterparts like the Wapta or Spearhead.
Weather was variable, from beautiful sunshine and warm, spring-like temps on the first day, to fresh snow mid-week, to fierce winds and fog on the final day. Meanwhile, snow conditions were amazing on north and northeast slopes, while south aspects were crusty and no fun at all.
It’s a simple and straightforward lifestyle. Eat, Sleep, Ski. Eschewing the modern world for a few days and enjoying life in the moment was a welcome break. Telling stories of epic past ski days and mountaineering mis-haps while sipping on a beer was more than enough entertainment. And while we never found any real first descents, we all definitely had our own personal first descents.
We’ve come a long way since the days of this guy on our Northwest IPA label. Space aged carbon, graphite, plastics, and Gore-Tex have replaced good ol’ fashioned wood, leather, and wool. And yet the desire to get out and explore, to discover new things, and maybe find a first descent of our own hasn’t changed.