Lane and I were spending a week up in Canada between Christmas and New Years. Going into the trip we’d opted to head to the Pemberton/Whistler area, as opposed to Rogers Pass, due to persistent problems in the Selkirks. Things were dynamic, however, and we found persistent weak grains in the Coast Range during our two days at Wendy Thompson. That, along with a deteriorating weather outlook, caused us to consider Rogers Pass again. Persistent slab had recently been taken off the avalanche forecast for the Selkirks after two plus weeks of high pressure and no recent human-triggered avalanches.
We pivoted quickly to driving 6.5 hours from Whistler to Revelstoke, booked the last available room at Revelstoke Lodge, and bam we were at Rogers Pass.
Given the quick pivot, we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves and start teeing off on huge, consequential terrain. This was a snowpack we weren’t familiar with, didn’t follow closely from afar, and were coming to last minute.
Lane and I made a plan to ski a mellow day up out of the Hermit trailhead. We woke up around 5:30AM, got some Tim Horton’s, and headed up to Rogers Pass. We needed to get an annual Parks Canada pass which turned out to be pretty dang expensive. Our plan was to check out the Rogers and Swiss Glaciers; we figured high, lower angle terrain would be scenic, give us enough satiety to not be tempted into bigger terrain. We left the sharps and ropes at home too, just in case.
We skinned up ahead of the only other group in the parking lot, starting around 7:30AM. The skinner was a bit slick but overall pretty easy. Lane compared it to the Phantom. We made good time through the forest.
The terrain in Rogers is just insane. South facing powder stays for days on end. There’s nobody around. This place must be paradise. Once we were in the alpine we started to understand the enormity of the terrain. It’s HUGE.
We skinned over to the Rogers Glacier. Dug a pit beneath the E Shoulder of Mt. Sifton. ECTN 13 w/ HS 180cm. Gave us pretty good feeling that we could ski powder the whole day.
Skied two laps on the slope, then headed over to the Swiss Glacier. Saw a party ahead of us climbing up to the Rogers-Swiss Col. Both Lane and I felt really tempted to follow but after a good discussion we talked it through and agreed that it just wasn’t wise. We skied two different ‘tubes’, both of which were crazy fun. Lane was grinning like a little kid the whole day. It was really cool to see.
Dropped our last line at sunset and skied out into the forest. Exit was a bit shwacky and BS but nothing more than what we are used to in the Cascades.
Went back to the room and ordered take out from Mexican place. I wanted to try and get my BMTs cleaned up so I could ski them…feeling like i don’t know how to ski my Rails anymore. Went to a ski shop and they pointed out that there’s a delam on my BMTs. Bummer.
Ate a bunch of food and tried to recover for tomorrow. IC8415932