Rogers Pass Ski Touring
Rogers Pass may have the highest concentration of road-accessed, world-class ski touring terrain in North America. Situated between the towns of Revelstoke and Golden, British Columbia in the Selkirk Mountains, this corridor gets huge winter snowfalls, and is home to the largest mobile avalanche control system in the world.
A rustic lodge situated on the pass proper serves as a launch pad for a full spectrum of backcountry skiing/riding, from high alpine glacier traverses to ski mountaineering summits and couloirs, to long glade runs – all within a day’s reach.
We also offer this program on a custom basis for private groups.
DAY 1 – Orientation & Tour
On our first tour we’ll spend a little time on companion rescue practice and review, as well as considerations for skiing in glaciated terrain.
Day 2 – Day 4
Throughout the following days we’ll integrate other relevant instruction.
On a good weather day we can tour on glaciers, ski off of summits, or complete one of the many high alpine traverses, with descents up to 6000’ feet long! The amount of easily accessible terrain to explore in the Rogers Pass area is mind boggling – you could spend an entire winter touring here every day and never ski the same line twice.
When it’s stormy there’s no reason to stay inside – Roger’s Pass has some of the best glade skiing in North America. Even when all of the Winter Restricted Areas are closed for avalanche mitigation, two of the main access points remain unaffected.
A few of the classic tours:
The Lily Traverse: Considered the most time honored traverse route in Rogers Pass, ascending the Asulkan Valley onto the Traingle Morraine and the Asulkan Glacier, through Sapphire Col, and down the beautiful north facing Lily Glacier. This is a 4500’ tour.
Mt Rogers: This 6300’ tour ascends Hermit Meadows (excellent tree skiing) up to the Lizard’s Tail, a moraine feature leading onto the Swiss Glacier. With the Swiss Peaks towering above, this area strongly resembles the Alps. From here Mt Rogers is a true ski mountaineering ascent with the upper headwall reaching 50 degrees for the last 300’.
Young’s Peak: This iconic mountain holds a variety of options, including the Young’s Peak Traverse, the NW facing Steps of Paradise, and the ultra-classic big couloir off the north shoulder known as Forever Young.
Bruins Glacier: This venue is easily accessible from the lodge and surrounded by excellent north facing high alpine peak objectives including 8812’, Ursus Major, and Video Peak.
Little Sifton Traverse: Another alpine traverse, beginning right out the back door of the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.
Bonney Trees: Excellent north facing glade skiing starting atop moraines below the Bonney Glacier.
Grizzly Meadows & Cheops North: Long tree runs right out the back door of the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.
Need rental gear? Items with the RENT link are available through us.
☐ Skis with touring bindings – AT, tele, or splitboard: Your setup needs to be suitable for uphill touring and downhill skiing/riding.
☐ Boots: AT, tele or snowboard boots.
☐ Poles: Adjustable poles with powder baskets (ex: Black Diamond Traverse).
☐ Climbing skins: Fit to skis (ex: Black Diamond Mohair Mix).
☐ Ski crampons: Specific to your setup.
☐ Day pack: 25-40 liters with some method of ski attachment.
- Optional: Airbag pack RENT
AVALANCHE SAFETY GEAR
☐ Transceiver: Modern, single frequency [457 khz] transceiver, preferably less than five years old. A digital 3-antennae model is highly recommended (ex: BCA Tracker 2, Mammut Pulse Barryvox, Peips DSP). RENT
☐ Shovel: Lightweight avalanche shovel. A metal blade and extendable handle are recommended (ex: G3 Avitech, BCA Companion EXT). RENT
☐ Probe: Dedicated probe, ski pole probes are not sufficient. RENT
☐ Ice axe: Lightweight 50-60cm mountaineering axe (ex: Petzl Snowracer). RENT
☐ Harness: Lightweight alpine harness with adjustable leg loops (ex: Black Diamond Couloir). For safety reasons, your harness needs to be less than 10 years old and in good condition. RENT
☐ (2) Locking carabiners: Pear shaped recommended (ex: Petzl Attache or Attache 3D).
☐ (3) Non-locking carabiners: Wire gate recommended (ex: Petzl Ange S or Ange L).
☐ Cordalette: 5-6m (15-20’) of 6-7mm nylon cord.
There are many possible layering combinations for your upper body. Use the following recommendations as guidelines:
☐ Baselayer top: Light to medium weight synthetic fabric (ex: Patagonia Capiline 1 or 2).
☐ Lightweight insulating layer: Light fleece or synthetic layer (ex: Patagonia R1 Hoody).
☐ Softshell or shell jacket with hood: For wind, snow, rain, cold, etc.
☐ Puffy (insulated) jacket: Synthetic or down with a hood (ex: Patagonia Micro Puff).
☐ Baselayer bottoms: Medium weight (ex: Patagonia Capiline 2).
☐ Ski pants: Softshell is preferable for touring.
☐ Socks: Wool or synthetic, they should work well with your ski boots. Keep in mind that warmth comes from good circulation, not heavy socks. Your ski boot liners provide plenty of insulation.
☐ Sunglasses: Glacier glasses or dark tinted wrap-arounds, should have full UV protection (ex: Julbo Dolgan).
☐ Goggles (optional): Preferably with low light lenses (amber or rose) and UV protection (ex: Julbo Around Excel or Down).
☐ Warm hat
☐ Sun hat: Baseball cap, visor, etc – Weather dependent.
☐ Face protection: Buff® recommended.
☐ Helmet (optional)
☐ Light glove: For touring.
☐ Ski glove
☐ Sunscreen: SPF 30 or greater, avoid spray on (ex: Doc Martin’s of Maui).
☐ Lip balm: With SPF protection.
☐ Water bottles(s) or hydration system: Should have a screw top (no bike bottles); hydration system should have an insulated tube.
☐ Thermos (optional)
☐ Camera: Don’t forget extra batteries.
☐ Extra batteries: For your transceiver, camera, etc.
☐ See Details.
☐ Repair kit: We suggest carrying a small repair kit with items specific to your ski or splitboard equipment. Extra binding parts (including mounting screws), an extra tip loop for your skins, an extra pole basket, etc. Other great MacGyver items are bailing wire, zip ties, and duct tape.
☐ Wax: For skis and to prevent snow from glomming onto your skins.
- Ski touring or splitboarding experience and basic proficiency.
- Advanced skiing ability or expert snowboarding ability.
- AIARE Level 1 avalanche course or equivalent.
- Excellent physical fitness is required for this program.
- You should be able to ascend and descend 3000’ in a day on skis carrying a 15-20lb pack.
- Guiding & instruction with an AMGA Certified Guide
- Glacier National Park Pass
- Transportation to and from Rogers Pass (carpooling may be an option)
- Personal equipment
Where to Meet
TBD, depending where participants are staying.
The closest international airports are located in Kelowna, BC (3.5 hr drive) and Calgary, AB (4.5 hr drive).
Drive times from the US can be slowed at the border.
From Calgary, AB: 4.5 hrs
From Vancouver, BC: 7.5 hrs
From Seattle, WA: 9.5 hrs
From Coeur d’Alene, ID: 7.5 hrs
From Missoula, MT: 9.5 hrs
Greyhound Bus Lines connects east to west to Golden and Revelstoke.
With the recent closing of the Glacier Park Lodge on Rogers Pass proper, we recommend staying in Revelstoke. There’s a range of accommodations including a budget hostel and numerous chain hotels. Staying in Golden is also an option and is about equidistant to the pass.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance for your program. Note that many plans require you purchase insurance within 21 days of your initial deposit.
Weather & Avalanche Resources
- Ski Touring in Rogers Pass by Eric Dafoe & John Kelly
- Glacier National Park: Rogers Pass Adventure Map by ChrisMar Mapping Services
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