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Ski Ascent of Chickadee Peak (Chimney E1)
Timestamp Free: 2019.02.18 - 05:14:50
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1200m
Participants: Wietse B, Ferenc J, Vern D
Difficulty: 3: Steep avalanche terrain requires routefinding abilities and caution.
A wonderful one day ski ascent near Boom Lake.
Chickadee Peak has been on my radar ever since seeing Raf's trip report on it. Back when Wietse and I did Boom Mountain, I remember looking at all the skiable terrain further up Chickadee Valley and wondering if there were any other peaks we could ski in the area. Well, it turns out that there is! As Wietse, Ferenc and I drove to the parking area, Wietse started asking what we'd do if there wasn't any snow on the approach! We weren't laughing so hard when we finally parked. There wasn't a lot of white stuff around anymore.

After ruining a "pure ski ascent" already from the parking lot (i.e. we carried our skis about 100m before finding enough snow to actually ski), we happily donned our skis and followed the Chickadee Valley Route up the lovely Chickadee Valley. The weather in Calgary was supposed to be rather dreary and cold, but here on the divide things were very different. The birds were chirping, the Vermillion River was bubbling cheerily beside us, and the snow was melting in a very strong spring sun as we worked our way up the lower (marginal) ski track.

[photo]chickadee001.jpg[caption]Wietse skis along the cheerful Vermillion River.[/photo]

Once we got a few kilometers up the river, ski conditions improved. We worked our way along open water until we finally passed the turn off for Boom Mountain and began the approach to the lower access slopes south of Chickadee Peak. Here we had two options. The first, obvious, choice was to head straight north up a steep avy slope to gain the hanging valley SE of the peak. The second, was to continue along the Chickadee Valley Route before traversing back to the east along steep forested slopes to gain access to the hanging valley. I wasn't sure the traverse would work, so I headed straight up...

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