Rogers Pass – Baby Sifton Traverse – Feb 25, 2006

Some useful Rogers Pass snow conditions links

  • No new snow in Whistler for the last two weeks so off we were to Rogers Pass for some freshies. We tried to book the Asulkan but it was busy. Some new in Rogers Pass brings out a lot of people – even the Best Western has no vacancies. Some friends of ours are here; here’s Sharon with Mark from Santa Fe with Mt. Tupper in the background to the north. Because its unusual to get clear skies in Rogers Pass at this time of the year, its off to the high alpine for us.

Heading up Connaught Creek we head up Roger’s Run. It is the skin track from hell. Steep and icy it could only have been set by a sadistic split-boarder on steroids. In between cursing I manage to get this nice panorama of the Asulkan.

From the Best Western we went up Rogers Run; then up the ridge towards the bench above Puff Daddy. Lots of old tracks down the ridge to the west of that bench. Snow was very aspect-sensitive. SW aspects were fine with 30 cms of boot pen; south aspects had sun crust; SW slopes had heinous windslab. After doing a test pit we deciding that the slope looked good despite our initial no-go assesment we headed up to Little SIfton but decided to head back instead of dealing with a crowd of people that suddenly showed up. Then we skied the 3000 foot shot down Puff Daddy to the (other) Grizzly Slidepath to the Hermit trailhead.

Here’s a GPS log showing the route tracked onto a satellite image

Adrian using some trees to get up the skin track from hell.

Obscenities and swearing deleted from this shot

At first glance, it didn’t look like either the Grizzly west trees or Puff Daddy were a go. Shooting cracks from windslab on SE aspects were giving the old spidey senses a no-go signal. However we dug a pit on the convexity at the top of Puff Daddy. 2212m ESE aspect 26 degree slope; air temp -12 degrees. Total snow depth of 320cms (S slopes were 215cms so our aspect probably got some windloading from N winds). Got the top 10cms of WS to go CTE 2; 30 cms down CTH 28 on 2mm surface hoar grains. 60cms down on SS H C/S. < size=”2″ face=”Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Generally results were good – better then first expected.

This views shows us heading up to Baby Sifton. We turned back before going to Little Sifton. To skiers left is a set of cornices and cliffs that are are pretty much impassable and a pretty serious objective hazard when skiing Puff Daddy.

This shows Cheops, then Grizzly Peak and then over to Baby Sifton.

Here’s Adrian skiing down from Baby Sifton. In the background is the Hermit basin and the Hermit slidepath. There is a way from Little Sifton and the Sifton Col to get through cliffbands and ski these slopes

Sharon down the Baby Sifton slopes with Mt Sifton and the Hermit in the background. The windslab looks bad but it was so poorly bonded to the lower pack that it didn’t interfere with skiing.

I manage to find a nice rib to session

Adrian heading back to the straight shot of Puff Daddy with Mc MacDonald in the background.

Dropping into Puff Daddy near our pit – the view shows the drop from 2215m to about 1300m.

Sharon on Puff Daddy.

Me on Puff Daddy – the snow is pretty decent on this aspect; not the light fluffy bottomless Rogers Pass pow we came for but still not bad.

The Grizzly slidepath ends up at the Hermit parking lot about 1km away from the Park Centre so its shanks mare back to the barn.

Total ascending was 1295m or 4200 ft over 7h 39min culminating with a nice 3300 ft shot down from Baby Sifton to valley floor. Heart rate got a little high on that stiff climb

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