With a forecast for a dusting of snow and sub-freezing overnight temperatures, Sarah and I decided to try skiing the Boudoir Couloir on Horseshoe Mountain. The dusting turned into 6-inches of fresh snow and whiteout conditions. After waiting out the brunt of the storm all morning, we finally started skinning around 10:00 A.M. Unfortunately, the dark skies helped us forget sunscreen and sunglasses.
It's always nice to be able to skin directly from the tailgate.
Later in the day, the storm came back with a vengeance, making navigation a difficult task. The heavy snowfall and warm temps made it difficult to wear sunglasses or goggles, especially when visibility was so difficult already.
We rounded this corner, expecting to see the Boudoir Couloir. Instead, we were greeted with a hazy view of 270-degrees of continuous cliff bands. It turns out that the Boudoir Couloir, which is usually climbable into late June, was dry for the top 200-feet, forcing us to abort our attempt at the summit.
a ptamigan waiting out the storm
Back at the truck, our attention turned to navigating down the now snow-covered jeep trail. Oddly, Sarah complained that her eyes felt really dry. Little did we know at the time that we had full-on snow blindness from spending the entire day without sunglasses or ski goggles.
painful faces and eyes, 24-hours later
Luckily, the deteriorating avalanche conditions and the fatigue from climbing in such deep snow made us decide to head home that night. Sarah's eyes were extremely sore by the time we got home. I thought I had dodged the same bullet, but the onset of my own pain was delayed until 3:00 A.M. that night. Our faces were severely sunburnt, and the snowblindness gave us puffy swelling and the constant, brutally painful feeling of sand in our eyes. We certainly learned this lesson the hard way.