Rogers Pass North bowl of Cheops

Usefull Links

  • Mountain conditions reports with a lot of Rogers Pass references
  • Local forecasts for the Columbia mountains. Revelstoke is West Columbia; Golden is east Columbia; so you have to read both to get Rogers Pass
  • GNP front desk number – 1 250 814-5232
  • Maps of Rogers Pass including large 1:250 scale
  • History of Rogers Pass – It started with a train…
  • With the forecast calling for a mild flurry and rising temperatures we were in no rush to get going on this last day of skiing. Sharon and Rob decided to sit out and enjoy the perks of a fireplace in the visitors centre while we explored options to find some turns in the Connaught drainage. Visibility would be poor but fortunately not enough snow had fallen to raise hazard levels dramatically. Off I went with Kendall and Tim to find skiable powder on some of Cheop’s north facing slopes.

    Kendall looking longingly at lines

    Line we wanted is in picture centre – bowl we actually skied is picture right

    Approach is as usual to Balu Pass but then head towards the west ridge. Variability of snow on the ridge made for interesting route-finding.

    Tim skinning up the W face of Cheops

    Kendall contemplating the Cheops approach ridge

    Horrendous windslab made a bootpack to the couloir entry necessary ~ photo Kendall Card

    When we finally got to the couloir entry, visibility was not great. Overhanging cornices spied on the route up were a cause for concern as was the fact that we had no harness and only emergency prussik cord. I really didn’t feel like rapping off 6mm cord on a waist-tied bowline and couldn’t get a good look over the lip of the couloir entry. So we retreated 50m down the face to the entry to the main face. Fortunately the clouds would intermittently part to let us have enough view of landmarks to make the entry. This 500m, 1800 foot shot gave us lots of turns and a nice treat of snow. Perfect way to round out the trip.

    Low/no visibility at the couloir entry

    Finding the entry to the main ramp and avoiding overhanging cornices made life interesting

    Sequence of Kendall showing that it was worth it

    Tim also deciding it was worth it

    The last 100m or so of skiing in the main path was wind-slabbed so we headed out to skiers left to look at pillow lines. Here I found a nice chute. In honour of Tim’s aching feet and evilly-fitting boots, we gave him first tracks. He promptly slayed it. Kendall finished it off and I got sloppy thirds – lots of snow to end it all.

    Tim gets first lines down a short chute to close out the trip

    Kendall drops in

    Elevation profile for day 4 – a relaxed pace with lots of stops

    Day 4s track

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