Feb 2014 – Week of Ski Touring in Revelstoke.
This winter was slow in coming, all over BC except in the North and Revelstoke and Rogers Pass.
We made the decision to head to Revelstoke to find the possibilities for skiing in adjacent areas. Obviously a choice is ski tour in Rogers Pass; also to tour, a couple of areas near town, Begbie and the Fingers; and last but not least to check out Revelstoke Mountain Resort. We also stayed in three different accommodations – Minto Manor, Best Western and Powder Pillow. We also checked out some of the dining in Revelstoke including 211 and the Rockford at RMR where we hadn’t eaten before.
Our first day of skiing we were joined by Douglas Sproul who created an epic Rogers Pass Online Guide Book – Geobackcountry – You can purchase this as an online PDF or a mobile app that is optimized for Android. Lee wrote some long reviews for this huge guidebook in Wildsnow in two parts – parts 1 and parts 2
Since a few big storms came through we were limited in the terrain we could ski especially since. Rogers Pass also has Winter Closures due to avalanche control on the Highway. All was not lost though as the storms came in cold and gave us a chance to explore skiing around town itself; saving on gas and the long drive
Skiing in Rogers Pass off the Asulkan Parking Lot
When most of the permit areas are closed you can still ski in the Asulkan or Illecillewaet drainage. Parks Canada is responsible for this lot but their snow-clearing is haphazard and lackadaisical (where do those Park fees go?). There are some RV’s that spend a few nights here, as well cars parked overnight to access the Wheeler Hut. This can make parking challenging on snowy busy days so get there early!
Nice parking lot clearing Parks Canada!
On one particularly stormy day we explored new areas off Glacier Crest. It stormed 40 cms + with a good deal more in the alpine so we stuck to well-anchored treed slopes
Digging a pit to see what’s up, good to go!
On our first three nights in Revelstoke we stayed at the Minto Manor. Run by Edna Mae since 2003, this mansion was built in 1905, and has been a B&B since 2003. Edna Mae creates hearty breakfasts and the Mansion is quiet for a restful sleep. The old Mansion is well heated, comfortable and gets you ready for the next days outing. Since all the bedrooms are on the top floor (3rd) there is minimal noise from people walking around the bottom floors. There is a tv room on the 2nd floor, where breakfast is also served.
There is a great ski storage room with boot heaters on the lower floor just off the parking lot. The large wrap around veranda also makes getting your stuff into the mansion from the main road or parking lot very easy.
Awesome elegant (but filling) breakfasts to get you ready for a day of skiing!
The next day we headed back to Roger Pass to take advantage of more pow. None of the Permitted areas were open so we headed up the Asulkan Valley again to the Practice trees. Lee had to break trail all the way! The pow did not disappoint as another 30 had fallen. Storm snow was 50+ even in the lower elevations
We did set off a small remote slide off a shallow rock right to the facet layer. Low consequence here… but kind of indicative of needing to keep things in check
Remote slide along creek set off from the 6th pass on the skin track.
Rogers Pass useful links (from Geobackcountry’s Rogers Pass North epic guide – thanks to Doug Sproule for permission to reproduce)
- Parks Canada (Revelstoke Office) (250) 837-7500 – http://www.pc.gc.ca/fra/pn-np/bc/revelstoke.aspx
- Parks Canada (Rogers Pass Office) (250) 814-5202 – http://www.pc.gc.ca/fra/pn-np/bc/glacier.aspx
- Road Conditions (Banff) (403) 762-1450 (Jasper) (780) 852-3311 – http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/routes-roads.aspx?oPark=100092
Winter Permit Information
- Winter Permit System explained – http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/glacier/activ/activ1.aspx
- Winter Restricted Area status (250) 837-SKIS (7547) – http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/tcond/cond_e.asp?oPark=100205
Weather, Snowpack and Avalanche
Glacier Park Avalanche Bulletin
- (250) 837 – MTNS (6867) – http://avalanche.pc.gc.ca/bulletin-eng.aspx?m=1&d=TODAY&r=3
- Weather station/Dataloggers – http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/pre-trip-planning/weather/real-time-weather-dataloggers
- Snow profiles – http://avalancheinfo.net/Parks/Glacier/Profiles/
- North and South Columbia bulletins (250) 837-2141 – http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/bulletins/latest/monashees-selkirks
- Parks Weather Snowpack and Avalanche Observations – http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/glacier/activ/activ1.aspx
- Environment Canada – http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/bc-65_metric_e.html
- University of Washington Atmospheric Science – http://www.atmos.washington.edu/
- Drive BC road and weather conditions 1-800-550-4997 – www.drivebc.ca/
- Avalanche advisories for BC highways – http://tranbc.ca/avalanche-advisories/
- Home – www.drivebc.ca/
- Revelstoke – http://images.drivebc.ca/bchighwaycam/pub/html/www/11.html
- Macdonald Snowshed East of Revy – http://images.drivebc.ca/bchighwaycam/pub/html/www/159.html
- Rogers Pass – http://images.drivebc.ca/bchighwaycam/pub/html/www/101.html
- Golden – http://images.drivebc.ca/bchighwaycam/pub/html/www/135.html
- Revelstoke Mountain Resort – www.revelstokemountainresort.com/
- Kicking Horse – www.kickinghorseresort.com/
Maps and Imagery
- Government of BC 1:20,000 geotagged TRIM – http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/dmf-viewer/?siteid=5628311639164388216
- National Resources Canada geospatial information – http://geobase.ca/geobase/en/
- Geogratis 1:50,000 maps – http://www.geogratis.gc.ca/geogratis/Home?lang=en
- Geogratis map images and data download directory – http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/geogratis/en/download/index.html
- Magnetic declination calculator – http://geomag.nrcan.gc.ca/calc/mdcal-eng.php
- NAD 27 to NAD 83 calculation tool – http://www.geod.nrcan.gc.ca/tools-outils/ntv2_e.php
- Topographic mapping basics – http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography-boundary/mapping/topographic-mapping/10807
- Map Tools – http://www.maptools.org/
- Garmin GPS user guide – http://www8.garmin.com/aboutGPS/manual.html
- BC Peaks KMZ – http://www3.telus.net/mtnclimb/pers/climbing/climbing.html
- Google Earth (GE) browser – http://www.google.com/earth/index.html
- GE Community – https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/gec