Rogers Pass – Grizzley Shoulder – Feb 26, 2006

We woke up to 26cms of snow; with 9.2mm of precipitation equivalent. That’s 3.5% water content which meant that 96.5% of the snow falling outside is air; that’s light. To compare – our coast snow pack is usually 10% water-content.

However, all the new snow outside meant that the easy shear on the windslab we found yesterday would probably be an issue. Cementing this guess were shooting cracks and shears from bootprints as I walked across the flat parking lot to the Visitors Centre.

To confirm our guess and obs, we sought knowledge at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre – just a stroll away from the Best Western and consulted the oracle. Here he is, Chris Fuoco, a knowledgable fount of friendly wisdom.

Photo by Michael G Halle Photography –

Not much of a view today as we climb along the Grizzly Fan to the top of Grizzly Shoulder. I took turns trailbreaking with a group from Calgary. We were the suckers that left early to get dibs on tracks and got our revenge by putting in a steep track. Just as we got to the top; a few groups caught us. At one point there were 18 people on the top!

Thankfully, they knew the etiquette and let trail-breakers have dibs. I think there were so many people today because most other slopes were spooky with naturals running all over the place.

Tracks were marvellous. The scenery isn’t great – this could be any treed run anywhere; I would apologize for the goofy grins we have on our faces but I’ll let the pictures speak.

Here’s a map of the Connaught Creek drainage. Most groups stayed to the Teddy Bear Trees and Grizzly Shoulder area. At least one group went over and made tracks on Hourglass on the NW shoulder of Cheops and we also saw tracks over to Ursus Trees. Apparently Dispatcher Bowl and Frequent Flyer ran 2.0/2.5 that same day – same aspect as Grizzly and Teddy Bear Trees but less tree anchoring and more hangfire.

The GPS tracks for the Rogers Run and Grizzly Shoulder ascents show how close they are to each other. At some point it would be relatively easy to traverse from the RR skintrack over to GZ.

I did 3 laps of Grizzly Shoulder covering 1960m/6500 ft over 7hrs 24mins. I was particularly happy with the last lap going up 1815 ft in 1hr 15mins. Hot tub definitely felt good at the end of the day.

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