Rushing to the Rutherford: Another Adventure in the Whistler Backcountry

April 5th, 2011 by

Rutherford is obviously no secret, as the sledders and shred crews ascend this area in droves when the sun comes out. Because sled travel is often limited by lack of visibility, the snow up here remains preserved until the clouds part ways. Near the end of March, we had a couple windows of opportunity to get up there and send, so we made sure we rushed up there before the sun even came up. 

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Heaps of snow

KC Deane and I rolled up at 5am this one morning in hopes to re-shoot a pillow line we had shot a month back. We were sitting there waiting in the dark so we could get the sunrise light on the line, but as it slowly became lighter, we discovered that a crew had been there on the days previous and shredded it. We were quite dumbfounded to be honest, but at the same time, it’s one of those lines that stares you in the face every time you ride past, so it’s really no wonder that it was slayed.

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Wind deposits

Instead we pushed into the alpine and watched the alpenglow begin to illuminate the amazing peaks that we were situated in. We decided to set up one of the most popular step-downs in the Rutherford. Bearing several names over the years, such as ‘step mother’ or ‘brain damage’, we got right to it. KC Deane stepped it out and built up the lip with snowboarder Justin VDP, and the boys proceeded to send. It was a sizable jump to say the least.

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Alpenglow on a sick face.

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Dane Tudor rolled up while we were shooting and skied a serious line down this.

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KC Deane gets upside down whilst going huge.

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Elyse Saugstad shreds the wave.

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Then she got barreled in the white room.

Elyse Saugstad was on the scene with us that day. Before we carried forth to the backside for the afternoon sun, Elyse skied a couple cool lines and got amongst it. We continued on our mission to this zone that we dubbed ‘step down city’. It’s chock full of perfect roll over’s, drop lines, and natural jumps, but also has an easy sled lap for dropping into nice 1500+ ft descents. We bagged some cool shots while the light started to milk out, and then hit the trail.

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Elyse getting some turns in.

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KC setting up to nose butter off this.

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KC gets some turns in amongst the toe of a hanging glacier at 'step down city'.

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