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Rogers Pass Skiing

 

Photo by Stewart Hoover: the divide where the Swiss and Tupper glaciers merge.

Over the last twenty years, Rogers Pass between Revelstoke and Golden British Columbia has emerged as a ski-touring destination of international renown. When I first skied here in 1981, about 500 backcountry skiers a year visited. Now between 15,000 and 20,000 backcountry skiers make the pilgrimage each winter to sample the area’s deep powder, steep slopes, and spectacular scenery.

This winter 12 of us from Wenatchee were part of that pilgrimage. We spent several days day-tripping out of Revelstoke followed by three days skiing around the Asulkan Hut, which is a several hour’s tour from Highway 1 near Rogers Pass.

Photo: the Asulkan Hut in the general Rogers Pass area.

Our trip was put together by Dr. Mark Shipman and joining him were ThanhVan Tran, Stewart Hoover, Freeman Keller, Chester Marler, Kyle Flick, Bill Dobbins, Tom and Patti Janisch, Jamie Tackman, Peter Valaas and myself. We found all those qualities the area is famous for: big slopes, big scenery, big snows, and big fun.

 Photo: ThanhVan Tran skiing northeast-facing slopes near the Asulkan Hut.

In this case, pictures tell the story better than words, so check out this slideshow on the Facebook page of WenatcheeOutdoors.

 

Details, Details

For a destination of international fame, we here in Central Washington are lucky to have Rogers Pass so close to us. Revelstoke is roughly a 7 hour drive from Wenatchee, Rogers Pass 8 hours.

  •  Guidebook. Ski Touring in Rogers Pass, by Eric Dafoe and John Kelly ($22, canrockbooks.com) is,arguably, the best single source about skiing the area.
  • Local Weather: Go to http://www.weather.ec.gc.ca, click on ‘BC’, then scroll down to both ‘Revelstoke’ and ‘Golden’.The weather forecast is not accurate for the exact location, but is usually similar enough to give you an idea of what’s going on at the pass.
  • Lodging. At Rogers Pass stay at Glacier Park Lodge (250-837-2126) --as of 2011 you can book a double room for $60 if you ask about their specials. At the Revelstoke Lodge in Revelstoke (888-559-1979, ask about skiing specials and you’ll get a room with two queens for $90). The Asulkan Hut is booked through the Alpine Club of Canada and costs $36/night/person—this guide tells everything you need to know about reserving and using the hut.
  • Avalanche Hazard.  Go to  http://www.avalanche.ca - click on the ‘Public Site,' 'Bulletins,'  'Latest Bulletins,’ and review the section for ‘Glacier National Park’.. The avalanche forecast for this region is kept current throughout the winter season.
  • Other sources of information: 1) online guide to 17 backcountry  tours around Rogers Pass 2) Park information and regulations for skiing at Rogers Pass (the skiing here is in Canada’s Glacier National Park) 3) Touring at Rogers Pass, a 1:50,000 topographic map available in Revelstoke and at the Information Center at Rogers Pass.

Photo by Stewart Hoover: Patti Janisch caught somewhere between skiing and flying.

See our slideshow of skiing Rogers Pass.