In search of winter at Kootenay Pass

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Dallas – taking his turn in the front. 

Winter hasn’t really kicked in here in the Southern Kootenays, but we were hoping to find some early season turns at higher elevations at Kootenay Pass. It wasn’t looking too promising at the Pass itself, with barely enough snow to cover the undergrowth in the forest, and lots of fresh windfall. Lunch-box was a boulder field, and even the grassiest slopes up on Buzz’s Ridge, were grassy. But fortunately the wind had filled in the lee aspects, and we lapped a couple of lines on the front side of Buzz’s with only a few rock gouges, then found a filled-in line off the back of Cornice Ridge, and by the time we’d  dropped a couple more powder filled chutes off the back of Buzz’s it was finally feeling like winter.

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Pete – Not afraid to drop the knee.

Another line off the front off Cornice Ridge and a bushwhacking descent to the Pass made for a pretty full day. Rock skis are mandatory, but if you pick your aspects there’s some fine powder skiing to be had. We measured 65cm accumulation at 6200′ on the flats and 100cm at 6600′ on a wind-loaded face. There’s multiple crusts layered with facets in the lower snow-pack, which made for significant whoomping but no releases.

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2 Comments

Filed under Backcountry

2 responses to “In search of winter at Kootenay Pass

  1. Michelle

    Pas mal! Are you headed to RP this week?

  2. You betcha! Andrew and I are heading up on Wednesday.

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