Words by Lee Lau. Photos by Sharon Bader, Lee Lau and Max Melchior unless otherwise noted.
- Trip preparation page
- British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment official web-page for Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park Kootenay Rockies webpageon Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park with summer routes and activities primarily described.
- Alpine Club of Canada’s webpage on the Kokanee Glacier chalet.
- Snow observations from Selkirks
- Lee’s trip from last year
- 1:250 scale map of Kokanee area
- 1:50 scale map of Kokanee area – east map; west map
- 1:20 scale TRIM data map (best for navigation imo)
- 1:20 scale TRIM data map of North Kokanee area
One more day and one more try to get to Gray’s Peak. But the weather finally turned on us and we were grayed out at Kokanee Peak. After about an hour sitting in the alpine, waiting for a break in the flat light and enjoying a long, extended pleasant lunch in warm temps, we headed down slope then split up. While the rest of the group were content to do a glacier run I badly wanted to ski off the Kitchener couloirs.
Karl making his way up with John Carter in the background
Karl finally gets to Kokanee Peak. Trevor was there but my picture never turned out
I made my way into the SW facing shot looking down to Kokanee Lake in hope that it would be an easy way to get over to Delicate Flower couloir which I could hopefully link with Knee Dropping Tree Fairy. However, this was not to be. I knew the SW facing shot was cliffed out and never intended to ski it – just hoping to use it to hop into Delicate Flower. The snow wasn’t great up top. Looking down I could see rocks and a dogleg where I would have to bootpack to the right to get to the ridge to get my other couloir. I’d a good run of luck and fortune this week – not wanting to risk it I pulled the plug and opted for another line with an easy entry that I could ski.
Top picture looks down the SW chute. Bottom picture looks down Squat to Pee couloir
I skied off Squat To Pee couloir in fantastic snow and then also had hip to knee deep turns in NW snow that had escaped sun and wind affect all the way to the 2100m mark. My luck ran out as I descended the final 100 m to the lake in a tomahawk as I finally encountered sun-crust. Meanwhile the others had a pleasant ski down the glacier and checked out the Slocan Chief cabin which now serves duty as a visitors centre.
Joel taking it all in
The others headed off north for a simple tour with a simple objective – skiing the N facing chutes off Robert Smith. This was accomplished in short order and even with our truncated meandering tour and ski, they were back well before us and finishing off beer. Good relaxing way to end a trip where a lot of stuff got done!