Touring Kootenay Pass

Above: Tim and Dre on the final turns before reaching the top.

A couple of  Sundays ago it just so happened that a bunch of us had the day off,  so we decided to tour Kootenay pass, about 2.5 hrs drive East of Fernie. After an early start at 6am before sunrise, we reached the carpark around 9ish and with the skies clearing to blue we were all keen to get going to make the most of the day.

Our group of 5 (Tim,Rob, Kahn, Dre and Myself) crossed the highway towards the southside of the pass and made our way on the skin track to Baldy Rocks. Starting out at around 1700m, the car drive had done most of the hard work but we would climb another 365m in elevation to reach our peak for the day.

The skinning was relatively easy, flat and uneventful for the first 25 minutes and then getting steeper for the last half. Few proper kick turns were required and with the sun beaming on us, the skin was really enjoyable and we made the top in quick fashion.

One of the many pros of having a couple of ski patrollers in your crew is the knowledge they bring to outings like this. At the top, Kahn managed to dig a snow pit which allowed us to test the different layers of the snow. There were a couple of reactive layers to be weary of but nothing extremely worriesome, so we were quite happy with our decision to ski the SE facing runs. After a few cuts across the face, we all took turns skiing our lines to the bottom in some crusty but reactive POW.

Stoked with our choice of terrain, we lapped the same SE facing aspect 3 times, shifting slightly skiers right on the last 2 for some fresh tracks and more open terrain. The final run of the day took us directly back to the highway, which was welcomed as we were all knackered from a days skinning. Apart from a momentary lost ski by myself (too keen on the way down to the car) it was an awesome day, capped off with celbratory muffins in the car and a few beers later that night for the super bowl.

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