After a January of precipitation and grey weather, the skies finally cleared. The horizon expanded beyond the immediate surroundings, revealing once hidden territories and a world of endless possibilities. Lured in by the dazzling peaks, the Cuckoos ventured into the wilderness beyond Whitewater and nested in a strategic location, gaining them access to a vast playground that would be theirs to enjoy.
Part I – Feb 9-10 2018:
Following our first night in camp, we were rewarded with a perfect day of touring: Cold air, relatively stable powdery snow and vivid light. It was so good that we decided to keep our camp set up, go back home for a night, pack more food and come back for another adventure.
Part II – Feb 12-13 2018:
On our return to camp, we were greeted with clear skies and a memorable stargazing evening. We awoke at 4am the next morning to capture the first rays of light on the Kutetl/Qua divide. The clear morning that had transpired in the forecast was a no-show. Instead, a thin and widespread high cloud lay over the whole region like a veil of thick smog. Such disappointments are a lot harder to swallow while skinning up a violently windy ridge after a night in the tent at -18c. To add challenge to this adventure, the strong winds had turned virtually all the snow above treeline into a bulletproof surface. However, where we come from, this is about as good as it gets for touring.
We made an attempt at summiting North Qua, but the closer we got to the objective, the more we could see the face of failure. With no ice tools or crampons to navigate the impenetrable snow surface, the exposure ahead of us was beyond our risk tolerance. We turned around and managed to get some good turns below treeline.
Every adventure is valuable, as long as one is committed to the journey. The mountains are ever changing, clouds draw endless patterns and each moment up there is like a page in the purest holy book imaginable. Ephemeral masterpieces, most of which are unseen by human eyes and remain sealed in time forever.
At the end of a little rougher trip than expected, the Cuckoos returned home satisfied and very slightly more aware of the vast universe that surrounds them.