Duffey – Chief Pascall

It’s April 11th and somewhere there has to be powder. Sun has been out for two weeks straight and avalanche conditions are going to be about as bombproof as it could ever be. Off we are again with Gary – from Utah – and our friend Peter to hunt some north facing powder up Duffy in Chief Pascall.

Our last trip took us on the west side of Chief Pascall up a drainage. This route takes us up the east side. The route starts at the Cerise Creek trailhead then follows the main road to the Cerise Creek turnoff. Instead of continuing up the Cerise Creek luge run, continue west on the main line for about 500 m then take the first road heading due south east. When the trees south east thin out then pick a line – any line will do – to skin up through the tree to gain the ridge going up to Chief Pascall. Unhappily we continued up the SW bearing road too far and skinned up a very steep knoll resulting in some spooky steep route finding and lots of kick-turn practise.

Here I am on the ridge heading to Chief Pascall with Duffy Lake to the east.

This ridge line is below the peak – which is protected by a line of steep cliffs from this vantage. We’d have to leg it around the cliffs and up and over to gain the peak. Off to the east is this view of Mt.Caspar.

Since we’re here to hunt powder and not to bag peaks this slope – north facing in all its glory – looks like the likely candidate.

Peter takes first tracks then Sharon goes next.

I take a turn down the same slope

Then take a run at another slope

Words cannot describe what its like to find this kind of snow this late in the year – surrounded by mountains this beautiful – all in sun!

Sharon’s having a pretty good time too.

From the Duffy Lake road out – here is a view of the slope we skied. Obviously – we’ll be back.

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