The couloir in question is immediately looker's left from the "End of Marked Trail" sign on the Sky Pilot Valley Trail. There is an excellent photo of it in a trip report by Manouane Deschenes. The couloir commonly produces natural avalanches so conditions are very important to consider when planning an ascent or descent.
January 4th - An arctic outflow had kept the skies clear for 3 days and blasted all NE facing slopes with a forceful wind. I hoped the snow would still be decent in this protected W facing couloir, but at any rate, the sun was out and the slopes stable so all systems pointed to Go.
The bottom part of the couloir was a mixture of light wind crust and packed powder and made for easy skinning. I believe the couloir can be more easily gained by heading straight towards the basin N of Ledge then following the ridge left, but because of the variable snow conditions I wanted to observe first-hand the snowpack I would be skiing before dropping in.
At around the midway point the packed powder gave way to a very solid wind crust and, in some sections, a 5-10cm wind slab as well. A quick CT test indicated that the slab wasn't propagating cleanly or sliding easily on the packed powder underneath, so I continued my now steep switchbacks.
About 50-60 vertical metres from ridgeline the angle was too steep for efficient skinning so I switched to bootpacking, which was, of course, laborious. I would occasionally find... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)