Duffey – Chief Pascall

This is becoming our ‘go to’ area when the forcast calls for snow and low vis. The area is close to the road. You can get into the Alpine pretty quick or you can ski the trees with minimal climbing. Today the forecasted snow didn’t come and we were blessed with clearing skies and sun! We took advantage of the good visibility and stable conditions to gain a ridge on Chief Pascall to see if we could access Joffre Glacier from this area.

Check out our previous visits twice in 2004 – February and April. Twice in 2006 – January and April.

We reproduced the April 7th tour but visited the summit ridge. This time we climbed the Ridge to 2250. Meters just past point 6 (green route).

The day starts with an easy climb through cut blocks.

Skinning up the Clearcut towards Cerise Creek

You can see the objective pretty quickly on this route.

You can see one ridge of Chief Pascall, as well as a ridge of Joffre and then Mt Duke and Mt Howard in the background.


The wind and snow billows off Mt. Joffre in the distance.

With the stable conditions and clear skies we attempted to reach the first couloir on lookers left. We thought we could access this section by reproducing a tour we did in April of last year. We didn’t climb higher in April since the snow was quite soft. Sincenwe’re still in the grip of winter the conditions now were good to go!

If we could get there…

At a tree line Ridge

The Full View

Climbing up the knoll

We dug a pit and found medium results in the first 10cm’s, the remaining packwas stable. This result played out as we skied.


We saw consistent sluffing in the top 10cms.


Sharon Skiing down the pow.

Back up we go to the ridge

The route wemtook was perhaps too ambitious as it got quite a bit steeper as we got higher! We passed a hole in the snow where in we could see the rocks and see the snow was melting a bit – bear den??? I didn’t want to find out!

Starting to get pretty steep


not much farther to go!

Getting Closer!

We get to the top of the ridge only to see that… we were at the top and access any where else was not that obvious.

We climb east along the ridge to see if we can get to the couloir. The snow on this South facing aspect was quite wind packed, faceted and not easy to climb up.

The View of Joffre is quite nice though!

This was the only option down the NE face… we weren’t sure what was beyond the rocks below… We opted to go back the way we came. The entrance to this involved probably a >55o slope with a considerable cornice overhang.

Heading East along the ridge was not an easy option either. Maybe with more time and an ice axe!

Skiing backndown didn’t actually suck though.


We figure the best way to get to the couloirs east of the ridge will be to just climb up them… not in April though.

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