Bivouac.com   Trip Page   Home     Help   Index     Login
Ski Ascent & Descent of Habrich Ridge Couloir
Timestamp Free: 2018.09.25 - 22:58:56
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 774m
Participants: Brett Logan 30-40 Degree Snow
Follow "Sky Pilot Valley Trail" to end of marked route then look left
I'd been eyeing this couloir for a raging ski descent for the past two years, patiently waiting for the right day. Topping out at 1550m, and descending to 1200m, the freezing levels of the past two winters hadn't been especially kind to this terrain, but the early winter of 2016/17 had brought a much awaited snowpack to lower elevations.

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)