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  1. #1
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    First Time Rogers Pass Tips

    Hi all,

    I've got a 2-week interior BC trip in Feb and have Feb 10-15 in the Wheeler hut. It's my first time in the interior, so I would appreciate any advice (especially safety related).
    I've been memorizing Doug Sproul's Rogers Pass guide, so I've learned about the parking and restricted area permit system.
    I have an AIARE 2 with 30 days in BC last year, mostly around Stanley, Idaho and Snoqualmie pass. I like to tour, so am ready for long days
    The more ski mountaineering approaches definitely look like the biggest challenge for the trip.
    No crevasse rescue experience, so I'll plan on giving the glaciers a wide berth.

    Of course conditions pending, but I've started to plan interesting terrain, and focused on 2 zones so far.
    What looks fun:
    Out of the Wheeler Hut (I'm ok with a longer approach but am spooked by glaciers)- The Ravens, Glacier Crest, Mushroom People, Triangle Trees, Abbotts Path, Avalanche Crest
    Driving over to RVC parking lot- Video Peak, Grizzly S Coloir, Cheops N Bowl, STS Coloir, S face of junction West, Junction East, Grizzly Shoulder/Puff Daddy Area


    What else should I know?
    Besides Avalanche Canada & TGR (maybe instagram), what are the best resources to learn about snow conditions? Caltopo doesn't pull Canadian weather stations.
    What are the unexpected hazards with this terrain?



    I'll also be hitting up Kootenay Pass, London Ridge, Sandon, Mt Plewman, so any general tips (not staches, just tips) would be appreciated too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I suggest we do more airmchair QBing with no facts except as stated in the article.

  2. #2
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    The Parks Canada avalanche forecast is an excellent resource for current conditions in the area. Check that frequently leading up to your trip. It's possible that the website is in summer mode, so you won't find the full gamut of information just yet.

    By February, the snowpack should be deep enough that I always felt the more benign glaciers are fine to travel without a rope. Easy ski mountaineering objectives like Youngs Peak and the various descents (69 and 69a in Douglas' book) have always been good to me and I never took a rope. Same goes for the Forever Young. You might find the approach to the Asulkan is bit long depending on your touring experience and how light your gear is. For reference, the Asulkan Hut is 1000m of vert and 2 hours at a quick pace from the road. The Ravens are excellent. Mushroom People not so much. Tree Triangle is a lame objective for such a long walk, not worth the payout. Avalanche Crest is excellent, instant vert right out of your hut.

    The bigger objectives you mentioned like Grizzly S and Junction East require a lot of luck to line up. STS is very committing to drop in to, bring a rope and a harness for it. It's also tough to locate the top of it as you hike up the ridge. Alternate lines are 30 and 30a, they are much more simple to get into. Video Peak is simple and awesome, but gets a sun crust quickly. Puff Daddy and Rogers run are good. Grizzly Shoulder proper gets tracked out instantly. Add NRC to your list of things to ski, it's similar to Avalanche Crest.

    The weather will probably be your biggest battle. The big alpine objectives frequently have a very narrow window of being good. Either it's storming and you can't get there, or it's been sunny for a couple days and the snow quality is fucked. At that time of year, the sun also comes into play. Expect a run like Avalanche Crest to get a sun crust within the first day or 2 of blue sky.
    Quote Originally Posted by grrrr
    There are good men out there. Good men who are good looking, who ski hard, have their shit in order, know their priorities in life and will make you happy. I'm not one of them, but they are out there.

  3. #3
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    Wrote this a while ago. Cleaned up all the links for wx and conditions in 2016 - take a look at it https://www.wildsnow.com/19934/roger...-introduction/

  4. #4
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    this could go for lots of places but especialy at Rogers pass a lot of the up tracks will be steep

    which is ok with fresh snow but if its packed and/or icey you wana have W2W skin coverage and ski crampons

    if it doesn't snow for a while that might seem shitty but it can be possible to do all kinds of routes
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiilbert View Post
    The Parks Canada avalanche forecast is an excellent resource for current conditions in the area. Check that frequently leading up to your trip. It's possible that the website is in summer mode, so you won't find the full gamut of information just yet.
    Thanks for all the beta! Parks Canada doesn't have any info yet, but I'll keep following up.

    That's great to know that Youngs Peak fills in enough to not warrant ropes. Forever Young looked like one of the best nearby lines.

    Ok that makes sense about STS. I wasn't sure if people just booted it to avoid that hazard.

    So even in Feb, sun is a significant factor. I was expecting more issues with wind crusts then sun crusts.
    Both the East face and Major paths of Abbot look like they would have that issue.

    Are MacDonald gullies 1+2 oriented north enough to avoid the sun?
    So I'll keep Ross Peak on the radar for the north aspect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I suggest we do more airmchair QBing with no facts except as stated in the article.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Wrote this a while ago. Cleaned up all the links for wx and conditions in 2016 - take a look at it https://www.wildsnow.com/19934/roger...-introduction/
    Thanks! Your experiences with the permitting are very helpful
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I suggest we do more airmchair QBing with no facts except as stated in the article.

  7. #7
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    I should point out, the Asulkan approach to Youngs fills in well. The Illecillewaet side is much more risky to cross without a rope. It gets done, but the route finding isn't as easy. If you add Parks Mountain Safety on facebook, they usually post some September glacier shots from the area. Very useful for referencing in the middle of winter.

    I never skied on the Macdonald 1 +2 side of the Pass, but I suspect they spend more time in the shade than other West facing slopes.

    In general, most of the main attraction chutes don't warrant booting up them first. STS has horrendous overhead exposure, subjecting yourself to a post hole up that isn't recommended. Forever Young is very easy to locate the top of. The snowpack in the area is forgiving enough that you don't need to boot up your intended chute to check conditions, we tend to just drop in from the top.
    Quote Originally Posted by grrrr
    There are good men out there. Good men who are good looking, who ski hard, have their shit in order, know their priorities in life and will make you happy. I'm not one of them, but they are out there.

  8. #8
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    Plan to be car camping in the parking lot at the top of the pass about a week after your time at Wheeler.

    Probably know this, but passing along in case. Bring earplugs and try to grab a space by a wall. Not only do you have 1 fewer neighbors but greatly enhances gear storage on hooks.

  9. #9
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    Itís a busy place, with all the obvious lines getting skied regularly. A tick list will lead you to tracked out runs. Start early, and follow skin tracks away from the highway until they end, and adventure begins.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiilbert View Post



    IThe snowpack in the area is forgiving enough that you don't need to boot up your intended chute to check conditions, we tend to just drop in from the top.
    This is an interesting take. Most times I've been up there a surface hoar layer has kept us on our toes. I guess something like FY would be less prone to develop SH.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchosdad View Post
    This is an interesting take. Most times I've been up there a surface hoar layer has kept us on our toes. I guess something like FY would be less prone to develop SH.
    I do regularly go in from the top at Rogers Pass/Revelstoke side and drop cornices if need be.

    On the Golden side I'm tiptoeing through the snow

    basically what willbert said

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    It’s a busy place, with all the obvious lines getting skied regularly. A tick list will lead you to tracked out runs. Start early, and follow skin tracks away from the highway until they end, and adventure begins.
    Coming from Idaho, I'm actually excited to be somewhere busier, as there's so much more beta and opportunity to learn from people that are around. (Doing it live all the time is fun, but I think I'll have more skills to bring back from a trip like this).

    Everyone has a different definition of busy, but are there certain areas to avoid/be wary of other skiers?
    I haven't dealt with that human factor element before. My first thought to reduce this risk is get up early and be first.
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I suggest we do more airmchair QBing with no facts except as stated in the article.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibum93 View Post
    Coming from Idaho, I'm actually excited to be somewhere busier, as there's so much more beta and opportunity to learn from people that are around. (Doing it live all the time is fun, but I think I'll have more skills to bring back from a trip like this).

    Everyone has a different definition of busy, but are there certain areas to avoid/be wary of other skiers?
    I haven't dealt with that human factor element before. My first thought to reduce this risk is get up early and be first.
    He was being polite.

    I think Wheeler can be a bit of a junkshow / shitshow in Feb. Tons of French Canadians and Euros there (at least when I was there), you might get better beta if you speak French or German

    The bunks are packed in tight, bring good earplugs. The fireplaces can be nice, but just so many people. Lots of mixed users, snow shoers, ultralight rando crowd, ski mo nerds, freeride folks, first timers. Youíll be really impressed by the local day trippers who start from the TH later than you, top out before you, and get 2x as much skiing as you before driving home. I think they might be a better source of beta!

    That said, the Wheeler Hut is still a great spot in the middle of Ski Mo Mecca. I think youíll appreciate it but just be prepared for a crowd and managing your expectations.

    Get up to Asulkan Hut if you can, even if just for 1 night. Much better experience to watch the last light over the peaks on the other side of the pass from the front door of the hut, the setting promotes more intimate bonding and stokage sharing with hut mates than the Wheeler. Even if no cancellations for overnight, itís a great stop as a warming hut to do some glacier meadow skipping above the hut. The glacier really does fill in. On my one trip out there, we came after warm storms and snow was complete garbage below the Asulkan hut and amazing consolidated pow above the hut. Go figure.

    Asulkan approach can be sketchy if you donít have awesome skinning skills. It gets beat pretty hard, and turns to crap if it hasnít snowed in a bit. Sidehill creek exposure and log crossings are scary in places on a split board with old worn skins, much less so on sharp skis with stiff-ass boots and new skins that eat hoar-kissed ice for breakfast.

    I wish I had other beta but not as much firsthand time in that zone as Iíd like. Have fun!!!
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  14. #14
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    Hahahahaha. I thought my wife was going to divorce me after dealing with the early season skin track to A-slog-in. Tons of great advice by people with way more experience there and Timmy Hoís in their blood than I in this thread. Itís the other side of the road than wheeler, but iíve always found the Griz shoulder trees to be both awesomely fun and a good ďget your feet wet at the passĒ tour as you do your checking in at the VC and leave right from there. No avy path to cross, either.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyski View Post
    Hahahahaha. I thought my wife was going to divorce me after dealing with the early season skin track to A-slog-in.
    like I said W2W skins and crampons
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
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    Can someone provide some local background for the Wilderness Restricted Areas?

    I've passed the 18-19 annual test and mapped them out against the terrain I'm interested, but I'm confused. Maybe because I've never slides this big, but I don't understand if the rationale is protect the road why so many areas are restricted. (Eg. Majority of McGill, Cougar Brook area of Camp West, Cheops North, Asulkan section of Loop).

    Is this a forceful way for the National Park to reduce avalanche fatalities by closing terrain?
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I suggest we do more airmchair QBing with no facts except as stated in the article.

  17. #17
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    because explosive fragments can travel up to 1km. Pretty sure that's a question on the quiz.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiitsbetter View Post
    because explosive fragments can travel up to 1km. Pretty sure that's a question on the quiz.
    That and the risk of overshooting a target or sympathetic / wide propagation releases.
    Quote Originally Posted by grrrr
    There are good men out there. Good men who are good looking, who ski hard, have their shit in order, know their priorities in life and will make you happy. I'm not one of them, but they are out there.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibum93 View Post
    Can someone provide some local background for the Wilderness Restricted Areas?

    I've passed the 18-19 annual test and mapped them out against the terrain I'm interested, but I'm confused. Maybe because I've never slides this big, but I don't understand if the rationale is protect the road why so many areas are restricted. (Eg. Majority of McGill, Cougar Brook area of Camp West, Cheops North, Asulkan section of Loop).

    Is this a forceful way for the National Park to reduce avalanche fatalities by closing terrain?
    As mentioned above, mainly it's for the blast radius. The army also needs to have absolute confidence that there are zero public within the blast area before they shoot. That's why 100% compliance is so important.

    Additionally, some zones outside the radius may close just to ensure nobody wanders over from an open area nearby. Things may actually become a bit simplified in the future, closing blocks (east or west, for example) to ensure there are no issues.

    The closures are 100% related to keeping the highway open and the public safe from avalanche control operations - they are not closing backcountry terrain to reduce recreational avalanche incidents.

    If you are a GPS geek like myself - check out the WIS app https://www.pc.gc.ca/accessrogerspass to help with the restricted areas. Generally all the highway facing terrain has cell service, and otherwise cache the maps before you go out. I wouldn't recommend using it for mapping purposes by itself.
    Drive slow, homie.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    The closures are 100% related to keeping the highway open and the public safe from avalanche control operations - they are not closing backcountry terrain to reduce recreational avalanche incidents.

    If you are a GPS geek like myself - check out the WIS app https://www.pc.gc.ca/accessrogerspass to help with the restricted areas. Generally all the highway facing terrain has cell service, and otherwise cache the maps before you go out. I wouldn't recommend using it for mapping purposes by itself.
    Thanks. Yeah I transcribed the WIS markings into Caltopo & was surprised about the few that have terrain so far off the highway. Wandering into the area by accident makes sense though
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I suggest we do more airmchair QBing with no facts except as stated in the article.

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