Marriot Basin: Secondary Shoulder Season

Maya arriving at the Marriot Hut

A few weekends ago we headed to Marriot basin with Pascale and Ignacio, their friend Michelle, Marius and Adriana, and Piotr who joined last minute. When Pascale contacted the Alpine Club to make a reservation for the hut, they said that the hut was closed due to the outhouse being too full. After promising to carry out our poop, they said we could still go. Of course, all the people who just go up there without making a reservation, and perhaps without paying, wouldn’t have known about this. We were surprised to find another car full of VOC’ers at the trailhead. I had emailed Ran to ask if he and Eva wanted to join us, but he had failed to read beyond the first line of that email, so it was just by chance that we ended up at the same location for the weekend.

It took us a few hours to skin to the hut, where we had lunch and pondered the “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign. I found it very fitting – you are on your own in the mountains, so you had better be a pretty good swimmer.

No life guard on duty. Duh.

The snow didn’t look too good, so we chose a North facing slope. I broke trail up to a col above the hut where Marius and I each dug a pit and we deemed the slope probably safe enough to ski. The snow was better than expected, but the light was very flat so we kept on falling. Part of the group headed back to the hut, while the rest of us then tried another slope that had a breakable death crust on it. I skied down while grimacing and cursing under my breath. I tried to minimize my turns, since I averaged a fall for every three turns or less. We didn’t bother going up for another run on that slope…

Ignacio, showing us how it's done

Back to the hut and a prolonged dinner. The next day we decided to try some south facing slopes, which were actually pretty good, or at least better than expected. Back at the hut we toasted our cheese sandwiches – a dry cold cheese sandwich is elevated by a few levels by this treatment. The ski down to the car was easy and we made the usual pub stop in Squamish, but this time at the Watershed, which looks out over the Squamish River.

We didn’t have great weather or great snow, but the great company made up for it and it was an enjoyable weekend in the mountains.

More photos

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