Wapta and Rogers Pass
We spent the last few days skiing in the Wapta and Rogers Pass.
November 17. Rockies - St. Nic
We attempted to summit St. Nic from the Bow Lake parking lot. As of that date the lake was not frozen enough to travel on, but the canyon had enough snow in it to be easily passable without difficulty or wet feet. Glacier coverage was between 1-2m and highly variable but traveled well on wind pressed snow. We turned back at the Olive/Nick col because the storm had already arrived with moderate to strong SW winds at ridgetop which was quickly building soft slab and windslab up high. We found decent skiing down St. Nick and the Bow Glacier tongue but that is likely to have changed with the storm. When we left the snow surface was moist from the Bow Hut elevation (2400m) down. Despite a good look around in the alpine we didn't see any avalanche activity.
November 19. Rogers Pass - Ursus Trees
We had grand plans, but modified them when the details of the storm became clear that morning. We arrived in the parking lot to 10cm of new snow and it snowed, at times hard all day with light to moderate winds (mostly from the NW) all day. We went into Ursus Trees for some laps and found moderate results down 110cm with failures in the facets underneath the Nov 5 crust (CTM10 (SP) down 110cm on FC under Nov5 mfc) on a south aspect at 2200m. The skiing was excellent for early season with many parties in the area. On the way out of the bowl we easily triggered several size 1 avalanches in a steep south facing chute, which were newer storm snow releasing off older storm snow 10-20cm thick.
November 20. Rogers Pass - Lookout Col
We skied up towards Lookout Col and did some Trail Breaking Olympics. We followed the Great Glacier trail almost to it's end, breaking trail thru the 20cm of new snow, and by the time we moved onto the Lookout approach slopes the trail breaking was knee to thigh deep. The Lookout approach above the end of the summer trail is still coming into shape, and is still very rough, limiting track setting and skiing options. At 1650m there was as much as 120cm on the ground, and as little as 60cm on the tops of the boulders. Out of curiosity we tried to exit out the normal creek access/exit route, but there isn't enough snow yet to fill in the creek in the necessary places to make this route work. We didn't see any avalanche activity, but visibility into the alpine was very limited.
Will Woods ASG
Dave Crerar ASG
Mike Stuart MG
Kris Irwin AG