Raven Lake, Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park
Back from a personal trip snowshoeing for a couple days around Raven Lake (in Sugarbowl/Grizzly Den Provincial Park). Overall, it is still very much early season conditions and we were happy for snowshoes to save our touring skis from an innumerable number of rocks.
We were able to drive to the regular trailhead (~1200 m) with the approach road being covered by up to 5 cm of snow; the road is not plowed in winter and after another storm or two it will likely no longer be drivable.
Around the cabin (~ 1680 m) snow depth increased to 20-30 cm in sheltered areas. While completing a ridgewalk above the lake (up to ~1880 m), we noticed pockets wind-loaded snow high on lee slopes and in gullies (up to 50-60 cm deep with just enough cohesion to form isolated pockets of stubborn windslab). Other than these isolated wind-loaded pockets, we found the snowpack was still below threshold.
It's that time of the year when a transceiver, probe, and shovel should be a comfortable weight in your pack whether on foot, skis or snowshoes. This was our first time to this area and it sure seems like it would be a lovely place in summer or winter.
Ben and Katerina
CAA Avalanche Professional
Starry Summit Mountain Adventures
Jasper, Alberta, Canada