A Rogers Pass Thanksgiving – Backcountry Powder Skiing

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

A few weeks ago my friend Gregg invited me on his annual Thanksgiving backcountry ski trip to Rogers Pass. Not being one to pass up Canadian Selkirk pow, I said yes.

The Asulkan Cabin, Rogers Pass Canada. Awesome photo by Scott Schell

We headed out of Bellingham, Washington at noon. After a comical number of pit stops, (ask Ryan), we made it to Revelstoke at around 7:00 pm. Driving through snow banks and blizzards on the Trans-Canada highway, it finally felt like winter. We hiked the short ways into the Wheeler Hut, and met up with the rest of the crew. I recognized a few faces, but most were new ski buddies.

This sight always brings a smile to my face. It's winter!

Early the next morning we struck out toward the Asulkan Cabin, our final destination. A wood cabin perched just at timberline, the Asulkan is in prime ski terrain. I’d only skied at Rogers Pass one other time, and I’d never been to the Asulkan. After dropping our much too heavy load of food, we decided to take advantage of the clear weather, and headed out above the hut. The skiing and views were superb, and I couldn’t resist taking a few laps.

Hiking above the valley, during our short weather window the first day.

That night we broke into our food. Keeping with an American-style thanksgiving, we planned to eat well. I think we arrived with at least 20 lbs. of food per person, not to mention a substantial amount of liquid (Ryan pulled a Double Magnum out of his pack). We feasted, and went to sleep to blowing wind and pounding snow.

For the next three days the weather remained socked in, providing us with some superb backcountry skiing powder, but no views. Patches of blue teased us from time to time, but our attempts to take advantage invariably ended in whiteout skiing. We stuck to taking laps in the trees. Face shots, Floating between trees, and jumping off pillows. It was goooood. I’ll let the photos tell the story.

Hiking above the hut for some powder skiing

Excited to get some skiing in on our first day.

Yep, we got some faceshots

Dave enjoying some pillows

Nearing the cabin at the end of a long, powdery day.

After days of free-refill powder skiing, it was time to head home. We skied powder down to the valley bottom, then rode the low angled trail out to the parking lot. After not seeing any other skiers for days, it was surprising to see several groups headed the opposite way.
In true Thanksgiving style, we overindulged in good food, and tried to completely track it up. Thanks for the great trip guys! My new year’s resolution just might be to get up to Rogers Pass a few more times this year.

Comments

11 Responses to “A Rogers Pass Thanksgiving – Backcountry Powder Skiing”

  1. Aimee December 6th, 2012 10:05 am

    One of my favourite places in the world. I love doing laps in the tree triangle below the hut!

    Small correction – I think that you stayed in the A.O. Wheeler Hut the first night. The Wendy Thompson Hut is by Whistler.

  2. Louie December 6th, 2012 10:16 am

    Oops, haha, thanks for pointing that out.

  3. Norqski December 6th, 2012 2:24 pm

    Sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving. Glad you guys are getting after it! Could you please blow real hard and send some of that Canadian frozen mist up to AK? We are definitely jonesing up here, one of the dryer early seasons in recent memory…

  4. gringo December 6th, 2012 3:10 pm

    One of the best trips I have ever done was my first time on Rogers Pass.
    Cool TR and nice pics.

  5. Paul December 6th, 2012 7:46 pm

    Just got back from Rogers.Skied out of Wheeler and the vis wasn’t the best but the snow was deep.At treeline there was a rock solid base of 185 cms,not bad for early Dec.IMO it’s the best place to tour,it had it all.

  6. Evan December 6th, 2012 10:58 pm

    An actual post on real skiing! I didn’t think this website did this anymore. How about more of this content and less of the what to buy or not content.

  7. Stephanie Meleady-Brown December 7th, 2012 11:11 am

    Great write-up Louie, thanks!

    Stick the hog!

  8. Orangeshark December 7th, 2012 12:35 pm

    Great piece Louis, look forward to the next one!

  9. Tob December 9th, 2012 7:52 pm

    Nice Louie! Been meaning to get up that way for some time now, now I gotta make it happen!
    BTW, great slideshow on Thursday.

  10. Alpine Club of Canada December 11th, 2012 9:36 am

    Louie, Nice story and photos of your trip, glad you had a productive Thanksgiving. At the Alpine Club of Canada we book people into our huts all the time, but it’s not often enough that we get to hear about how it went and see great photos. I hope you don’t mind if we link to your blog on our FB page. Best regards.

  11. Louie December 12th, 2012 11:21 pm

    No problem, go ahead and link it. Thanks for all the great huts!

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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