Spring Snow Brings First Descent of a Big New Ski Line

In Norse mythology, Niflheim represents the cold, dark realm of the dead, ruled over by a goddess named Hel.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that Christina Lustenberger, a former World Cup alpine skier, made a characteristically terse Instagram post of her latest achievement on a British Columbian peak that shares the same name.

“Niflheim,” Lusterberger wrote. “Where the bad people go.”

Lustenberger and her ski partner Andrew McNab have made what’s likely the first ascent and first ski descent of a striking couloir that splits Mount Niflheim.

It’s an imposing 2,857m peak in the Monashee range of British Columbia, Canada that appears to live up to its foreboding namesake.

According to Planet Mountain, the pair ascended a line through “lower exposure” before climbing over a chock stone above to reach an “obvious notch” at around 11:15 am.

After a brief rest, they dropped in right as the sun was entering the couloir they had just finished ascending, Planet Mountain reported. They overcame two “distinct cruxes” via short rappels, then skied the rest, past slopes at least 45° steep.

According to Gripped, the descent was filmed by Joshua Lavigne with assistant Andy Gallant, two local skiers.

In the past, Lustenberger and McNab have made several other first ski descents together. Those include the Gold Card Couloir between Mount Burnham and Mount Grady in the same mountain range in 2021, with Brette Harrington.

Lustenberger also made news last year for the first ski descent of Mount Ethelbert (3,180m) in Canada’s Purcell range.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.