Rogers Pass Hut-Based Ski Touring
Rivaled only by Thompson Pass in Alaska, Rogers Pass is home to some of the biggest and best road accessed backcountry skiing terrain in North America. Situated in the Selkirk Mountains between the towns of Revelstoke and Golden, British Columbia, this corridor gets huge winter snowfalls, and within half a day you can be skiing in glaciated terrain.
On this trip, we spend 4 days exploring the vast terrain Rogers Pass has to offer, staying in the A.O. Wheeler Hut on our first night, and the impressive Asulkan Cabin on our second and third nights.
With good weather and stability, some of the classic high alpine tours include Sapphire Col, the Lily Traverse, Young’s Peak, the Dome Glacier, Mt. Rogers, and the Swiss Peaks. In storm conditions, Rogers Pass offers incredible, pillowy powder skiing below treeline.
WHY GO WITH PACIFIC ALPINE GUIDES
- Pro Guides: This trip is lead by an AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide.
- Small Group Size: 5 participants max.
- Excellent Meals: High quality, nourishing dinners and breakfasts incorporating fresh ingredients
- Hut-Based Itinerary: Stay in comfortable huts, with no commuting to and from the pass.
RECENT TRIP REPORTS
DAY 1 – FULL DAY TOUR, SKI INTO THE A.O. WHEELER HUT
We meet at the Rogers Pass Discovery Center at the top of Rogers Pass at 8am on the morning of Day 1. After introductions and a quick gear check, we pick up our permits, run through a short companion rescue practice session, and head out on our first tour.
In the afternoon we drive to the Asulkan trailhead and make preparations for spending the next three nights in the huts. It’s a short 20 minute skin into the A.O. Wheeler Hut, where we settle in by the fireplace for the evening.
Overnight at the A.O. Wheeler Hut. (D)
DAY 2 – ASCEND TO THE ASULKAN CABIN, AFTERNOON TOUR
In the morning we tour up the Asulkan Valley to the Asulkan Cabin, arriving midday. We take a break for lunch and drop our overnight gear before heading out on a day tour with light packs. With good weather and stability, skiing off the summit of Young’s Peak is an option for the afternoon. There is also excellent tree skiing below the hut in the Tree Triangle, a great option in less than ideal weather or avalanche conditions.
The views from the Asulkan Cabin on a clear evening are hard to match. This hut sleeps a maximum of 10 people and is warmed by a cozy propane heater.
Overnight at the Asulkan Cabin. (B, D)
DAY 3 – TOURING IN THE ASULKAN VALLEY
From the Asulkan Hut, alpine options may include touring up to Sapphire Col, The Seven Steps of Paradise or “Forever Young” on Young’s Peak, skiing the Dome Glacier, Leda Peak, or summiting Mt. Jupiter. Below treeline options include laps in the Tree Triangle and the Triangle Moraine.
Overnight at the Asulkan Cabin. (B, D)
DAY 4 – FULL DAY TOUR, DESCEND TO THE ROAD
Our last day, we pack up our stuff at the hut and head out for another full day of ski touring, skiing back out to the Asulkan Trailhead at the end of the day.
ROGERS PASS HUT-BASED SKI TOURING
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.
☐ CLIMBING SKINS: Fit to skis.
☐ SKI CRAMPONS: Specific to your setup.
PACK & SLEEPING BAG
☐ OVERNIGHT PACK: 45-60+ liters with some method of ski attachment.
☐ DAY PACK: Optional for day 1.
☐ SLEEPING BAG: Down or synthetic, rated to 20° F (+/- 10° depending how warm you sleep).
☐ COMPRESSION SACK
* Note: A sleeping pad is not necessary (huts have mattresses)
AVALANCHE SAFETY GEAR
☐ TRANSCEIVER: Modern, single frequency [457 khz] transceiver, preferably less than five years old. A digital 3-antennae model is highly recommended. RENT
☐ SHOVEL: A metal blade and extendable handle are recommended. RENT
☐ PROBE: Dedicated probe, ski pole probes are not sufficient. RENT
☐ ICE AXE: Lightweight 50-60cm mountaineering axe. RENT
☐ HARNESS: Lightweight alpine harness with adjustable leg loops. For safety reasons, your harness needs to be less than 10 years old and in good condition. RENT
☐ (2) LOCKING CARABINERS: Pear shaped recommended.
☐ (3) NON-LOCKING CARABINERS: Wire gate recommended.
☐ 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.
☐ LIGHTWEIGHT INSULATING LAYER: Light fleece or synthetic layer.
☐ SOFTSHELL or SHELL JACKET with HOOD: For wind, snow, rain, cold, etc.
☐ PUFFY JACKET: Synthetic or down with a hood.
☐ BASELAYER BOTTOMS: Medium weight.
☐ SKI PANTS: Lightweight, well ventilated softshell or hardshell ski pants.
☐ SOCKS: Wool or synthetic, they should work well with your ski boots. Keep in mind that warmth comes from good circulation, not heavy socks.
☐ SUNGLASSES: Glacier glasses or dark tinted wrap-arounds, should have full UV protection.
☐ GOGGLES: Preferably with low light lenses (amber or rose) and UV protection.
☐ WARM HAT
☐ SUN HAT
☐ FACE PROTECTION: Buff® recommended.
☐ HELMET (OPTIONAL)
☐ LIGHT GLOVE
☐ SKI GLOVE
☐ SUNSCREEN: SPF 30 or greater.
☐ LIP BALM: With SPF protection.
☐ WATER BOTTLE(S) or HYDRATION SYSTEM: Should have a screw top (no bike bottles); hydration system should have an insulated tube.
☐ CAMERA: Don’t forget extra batteries.
☐ EXTRA BATTERIES: For your transceiver, camera, etc.
☐ HEADLAMP RENT
☐ 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.
FOR THE HUTS (OPTIONAL)
☐ HUT SHOES: Down booties or Sanuks work well.
The Rogers Pass Hut-Based Ski Touring trip open to individuals in excellent physical condition, with “advanced” downhill skiing or riding ability, and previous ski touring experience. Participants should feel comfortable on black diamond terrain in ski areas, skiing in a variety of off-piste (ungroomed) snow conditions.
Participants should be able to ascend and descend 4,000′ vertical feet in a day of backcountry touring while carrying a 15-20 lb day pack, or 3,000′ vertical feet in a day carrying a 35-40lb overnight pack.
- Guiding and instruction with an AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide
- Breakfasts and dinners at the huts
- 4:1 ratio (5:1 max)
- Hut fees
- Parks Canada overnight fees
- Group equipment: ropes, safety gear, etc.
- Transportation to and from Rogers Pass (carpooling may be an option)
- Personal equipment
- Lunch food
- Parks Canada parking fees
- Lodging before and after the trip
WHERE TO MEET
Rogers Pass Discovery Center, Rogers Pass, British Columbia.
- Register online
- Email us at email@example.com or via the Contact Us page
- Give us a call: 888-674-8492
Once we have your registration and deposit, you will receive a confirmation via email. Final information including meeting time and location, any updated gear recommendations, contact information for your guide(s), and other logistical considerations will be sent out 1-2 weeks prior to the start of the trip. Our office is available anytime to answer questions and help with planning.
Three different types of permits are required for skiing at Rogers Pass, and your guide will help facilitate acquiring these:
Winter Permits: Rogers Pass is home to the world’s largest mobile avalanche control system in the world (using artillery). The winter permit system is designed to help backcountry skiers coexist with the need to protect the Trans Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway. These permits are free.
Wilderness Pass: Fee for overnighting in Glacier National Park. This is included in the trip cost.
Park Pass: Park entry/vehicle fee. Not included in the trip cost.
The closest international airports are located in Kelowna, BC (3 hr drive) and Calgary, AB (4 hr drive).
Drive times from the US (can be slowed at the border):
From Calgary, AB: 4 hrs
From Vancouver, BC: 6.5 hrs
From Seattle, WA: 8 hrs
From Coeur d’Alene, ID: 7 hrs
From Missoula, MT: 8 hrs
Greyhound Bus Lines connects cities along the Trans Canada Highway including Revelstoke and Golden.
Revelstoke and Golden are the closest towns to Rogers Pass.
Revelstoke (about 50 minutes from Rogers Pass)
Golden (about 1 hour from Rogers 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:
- Rogers Pass Long Term Forecast
- Glacier National Park Avalanche Bulletin
- Glacier National Park Weather Forecast (Weather Network)
- Rogers Pass Weather Forecast (Weather City)
- Glacier National Park: Rogers Pass Adventure Map by ChrisMar Mapping Services
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