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Three Pass Traverse - Rogers Pass
Timestamp Free: 2020.10.24 - 03:43:25
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Big Bend Ranges / Hermit Range
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 2350m
Participants: Jake Van Allen, David Swapta
Difficulty: 2: This is a long day with a lot of trail breaking. There is significant exposure to avalanche danger as well as a short glacier crossing. The skiing itself is not difficult.
An excellent traverse through some of the lesser traveled, but perhaps most spectacular, parts of Rogers Pass.
The three pass traverse had been on my list for awhile but I had to be patient to wait for the proper conditions to line up - stable avy conditions and clear skies - as I wanted to do this in a day and be able to take in the views along this lesser traveled route.

With a weather window approaching in late January, I took a few days off work and decided I would go for it, the only problem being all my regular partners were working, so I had no one to go with. This is not the type of trip I wanted to do alone so I resorted to Facebook - Revelstoke Ski Tourers Group - and posted for a partner. There is always significant risk in posting for partners, especially for a trip like this which I figured would be about 9 - 10 hours / 30km and lots of vert. Oh well, what choice did I have.

David, a Polish fellow living in Golden, replied to the post and when I told him the plan he simply said "sure". This made me wonder if he appreciated the lengt of the traverse but David turned out to be a most excellent partner and certainly lived up to the reputation Polish mountaineers have for being hard men.

We started around 6:00 a.m. from the Discovery Centre, heading up Connaught Creek in the dark. We had a trail until the base of Balu Pass and from there it was up to us to break trail for the rest of the trip. The snow was soft and deep and while that was great for skiing, it did suck a little extra energy over the day. Once the sun came up the temperature shot up, adding to the energy drain

The first "pass" of the traverse is Balu. This is easy to get to and once you are there you need to select a ski route down to the bottom of Cougar Valley. We chose to stay a bit to skiiers right and though we did have a few narrow trees to contend with, it is easy enough to follow the...

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