It took a couple of fairly long slogs. Both of them self-supported and in the deep freeze of winter. The skiing was terrible but the experience of adventure and exposure was what we were really after.

Warning: There's a wee bit of profanity in video

Sir Sandford; Affectionately known as 'Sir Sandy' is the highest peak in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia. At 3522m, it's the king. 

The South Face in December 2011

Upper South Face the day we skied it. Note the 2 metre avy crown

The mountain is impressive from any side. It sometimes gets graced with turns down the standard Hourglass Route on the north side. This was the only known ski descent off the summit of the mountain. Check out the rather large avalanche crown in the image above.

We hiked right next to it. It was a couple / few metres deep. When we were here in December, the face was covered in white. The lower sections unfortunately, were not. Now we were back and the mountain would allow passage but not under the best conditions. Such a difficult feature to get in good shape: One of the biggest south facing slopes in the Selkirks. 

Rob on the upper face

The entire south face is a huge slab of marble rock. It has only two ascent routes and was first climbed in August 1985 and didn't see it's second ascent until 1989 when it was climbed in winter, only the second known ascent of the mountain in winter. Although there had been attempts to ski the face, it's likely that the south face had never been skied before.

On the summit

Rob Martin and I made an attempt to ski the face in December 2011 under a full moon but it was too early and travel conditions were very difficult.

A couple of months later in February 2012, the planets aligned for Troy Jungen, Rob Martin and myself as we skied into another full moon connecting logging roads of the 'Big Bend' of the Columbia River. The wet-side to the dry-side.

Troy on the face, choke is just below him

Camp, 7000 feet below

A bit of fog on a bluebird day?

Rob at the lower choke

We got a casual start (7 a.m.) and by the time we left the summit the sun was setting. There is a lack of good descent footage because it was just too engaging once we went over the roll and into the meat.

We took a break at the choke and waited for the moon to rise and then continued to the valley bottom in moonlight, epic!

The steepest part of the face was about 50°. It was +/- 550 meters (1804') probably closer to 600 meters.

The entire run was 2262 meters or 7421' vertical.


Click map for download