This trip was supposed to be with Katie, Winnie and Mel, but Mel dropped out last minute so the 4 of us set off for Eyeore Peak which is located up off the Duffey Hwy and accessed off the Blowdown FSR. I felt after so many Sunshine Valley trips I have brought them on they deserve no bushwacking with big views. This is a popular ski area as the bowls on the North side of Eyeore get alot of snow. In full winter coverage most access the upper basin by following the creek we used on our descent but since we are snowshoers we decided to take the more direct/steeper approach and gain the North ridge from the start.
The road was in good condition just mino waterbars that the Honda CRV barely made it over, we got stopped by 1 small patch of snow that we didn't want to risk it, but it was no big deal as we hit icy hard snow maybe 10min after parking. Our spur road off the main Blowdown FSR was alder choked in spots but very short lived until it opened up in the cutblocks. Into the forest we go, nothing to report here just follow the broad ridge until you bust into the alpine.
The snow was break through crusty at the start which was super annoying, but then all of sudden the freeze-thaw cycle kicked in and it was solid snow the rest of the ridge. Eventually we topped out on a bump and got a look at the full ridge and the sub-summit of Eyeore.
The plan was to do the full ridge but it looked absolutely miserable with the snow cover and then non snow cover and broken in places along with sidehilling. The decision was made to lose about 50m gain and drop into the basin and just parallel the ridge heading in the same direct. We had to walk abit along the ridge until we could find a spot to drop off it, and eventually we found our weakness.
Once in the basin travel was fast and the snow was still solid, as we approached the sub-summit we decided that we have skipped most of the broken ridge and that we should go back up and re-join it. We made our way straight up the face of the sub-summit. The snow for some reason was not part of the freeze-thaw cycle which meant. It was a fair bit of work for me to put the bucketsteps in for the gals, but at least bucketsteps are safe. Eventually I wanted a break so I got Winnie who is new to this to give it a whirl. She's a 103lb firecracker and a natural and she finished it off.
Katie wasn't really a fan of the sugary bucket steps but worked through this section and soon enough we were all on the sub-summit staring over at the true summit not very far away and everything looked to connect fine with no difficulties ahead.
We topped out over 4hrs after we started, even though the sun was shining there was of course a stiff cold wind blowing from the SW. We were going to carry on and do Moomin which runs along the same ridge but decided it would be a long day in the snow and being pounded by the wind the whole time would suck. It is just another reason to go back and ramble the ridge on a summer day.
I'm always a fan of loops so suggested we head down the East ridge for a short distance and then drop into the upper basin which is the usual way to ascend this peak amongst the backcountry ski crowd. It was a very fun steep gully to drop down and then wide open bowl travel. Very Very nice area.
For some reason the loop got the better of me and I wanted to check out the "winter approach" so instead of going back up where we needed to , we followed the creek descent. Things were going too smoothly and soon enough we ran into the major cutblocks. There was still snow coverage but not alot, the alder and slushy snow was winning this battle. Long story short this descent back to the car sucked, we found the spur road we wanted to find and walked back the extra 1.5km to the car. This loop probably cost us over an hour. Ohhhhhh wellll...
I had a surprise for the mountain gals, a bottle of "Bodacious" vino tinto for some bodacious babes complete with 3 long stem wine glasses to finish the day in style. The Duffey usually doesn't disappoint.