mike's local guide to: ski tours


Surprise Col (1 day) Lake Louise — A nice day-tour near Lake Louise which finishes by dropping down the first north-facing couliour at the end of the lake. Lots of options for more turns before this, too. Tour up the trails from the canoe rental shack towards Saddleback. Once there, contour on the climber's-right slope until you can drop into a basin and follow (eventually) the north side of this along morains until an obvious, steep gully about 100m high presents itself; climb this and drop into Lake Louise. Good stability required.

Bostock Creek (1 or more days) Roger's Pass [pics] — Bostock Creek provides acres of awesome terrain and is an excellent destination for a camping-based tour (Bostock Pass offers excellent, protected camping; Farm Pass looks promising also). McGill shoulder is the preferred option for a day trip.

Burstall Pass Area (> 1 day) There is some spectacular glade skiing near Burstall Pass (no, I'm not kidding). Email for details.

Birdwood/Smuts Pass tour (day) — This is a great little tour, with some good opportunity for turns on the West side of Birdwood. Start up Burstall Pass trail and head up through the woods to gain Birdwood pass as soon as you get up the "headwall" to the hanging valley below the south ridges of Birdwood (some bootpacking; probably want decent stability). Continue over the pass and notice the glades in front of you on both sides. Ski some of them, and the head up through the woods towards Smuts Pass. After dropping over, a few steep turns can be had on skier's right below GIANT avi slopes. Then, out Commonwealth Creek back to the road.