Asulkan Cabin — Rogers Pass — Spring Skiing TR

Post by blogger | April 11, 2016      
We found a bit of pow, and made use of it. Yours truly finding the goods on the "sunset line" above the hut.

We found a bit of pow, and made use of it. Yours truly finding the goods on the “Sunset Line” above the hut.

The Asulkan Cabin is an incredible place for ski touring. I’ve been up there a few times, but have failed to get it in good weather — until now. Elliot booked the hut for an early April trip hoping to find nice spring conditions. Although the avy and snow conditions left a bit to be desired, the sun was out, and we had an excellent time.

We cruised up from Seattle late Thursday and crashed in Revelstoke for the night. With a high avy forecast and warm temps, we got going early the next morning, and made the long slog up to the hut by mid-day. We were pretty beat, but after a few hours of hanging out and eating we decided to head out for an evening ski tour. We skinned up to Asulkan Pass in beautiful evening light, and enjoyed vistas of Mt. Dawson and Young’s Peak. After so many socked-in trips, it was an incredible view. As we skinned up, we were surprised to find light powder. We skinned to the top of a little bump we dubbed the “Sunset Bump” and had an excellent run through the sun-warmed powder. As we neared the hut we crossed into the sun-shade line, and the powder turned to heinous breakable crust. We thrashed our way down to the cabin and enjoyed a hearty dinner.

Hiking into the hut on a beautiful sunny day.

Hiking into the hut on a beautiful sunny day.

The Asulkan cabin! Some say it's the best hut in Canada. I might have to agree.

The Asulkan Cabin. Some say it’s the best hut in Canada. I might have to agree.

Julia skiing above the cabin before our first night.

Julia skiing above the cabin before our first night.

The full crew hanging out in the hut.

The full crew hanging out in the hut.

The next morning dawned clear. We decided to head up to the Forever Young Couloir, one of the most enticing lines in the area. We enjoyed a beautiful, sun-drenched skin to the top of Youngs Peak and made our way down to the entrance of the chute. We found icy conditions and lots of tracks at the entrance. Evidently in the days since it had last snow, the classic line had seen quite a bit of traffic. Nevertheless, we decided to check it out. I headed down first. The snow conditions were even worse than I expected. Very icy, runneled, and sluffed-out. Shenanigans ensued, but eventually we all made it to the bottom safe and sound. It was great to finally ski the famous line, hopefully I’ll be back in the future to get it in softer conditions.

That evening we enjoyed the relaxed hut life, and made plans for the next day. Although we had experienced reasonable avalanche conditions so far, the forecast was still high and considerable, so we opted to keep it conservative. The following day we once again toured up to the top of Youngs Peak, but opted to head down the mega-classic Seven Steps of Paradise. We once again found better than expected snow conditions. Intermittent powder and wind buff up top transitioned to creamy slushy snow down low.

That evening we skinned up once again to “Sunset Bump” and once again found the best snow of the trip. Light, stable pow right off the top. We did a few laps, and headed back to the hut just as the sun was setting. The next morning we beat the heat and skied out to the car in the morning. The drive back to WA was beautiful, sunny and warm. Seems like spring is here!

All in all, a great trip. Check out the rest of the photos below:

Hiking towards Young's Peak on our second day.

Hiking towards Young’s Peak on our second day.

At the top of Forever Young. The coulior was pretty skied out and very icy.

At the top of Forever Young. The coulior was pretty skied out and very icy.

Hiking up to the Seven Steps of Paradise on our 3rd day at the hut.  Check out that sun halo!

Hiking up to the Seven Steps of Paradise on our 3rd day at the hut. Check out that sun halo!

Nick skiing off the top of Youngs Peak, with Rogers Pass in the background.

Nick skiing off the top of Youngs Peak, with Rogers Pass in the background.

Julia skiing off the top of Youngs Peak.

Julia skiing off the top of Youngs Peak.

Julia skiing the Seven Steps of Paradise

Julia skiing the Seven Steps of Paradise.

Nick finds some nice pow.

Nick finds pow.

Julia Skiing on our last run of the trip.

Julia Skiing on our last run of the trip.

Skiing back to the cabin at the end of a magnificent day.

Skiing back to the cabin at the end of a magnificent day.


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12 Responses to “Asulkan Cabin — Rogers Pass — Spring Skiing TR”

  1. Erik April 11th, 2016 9:33 am

    Hey was wondering if I could get help on a set up of boots/bindings. I’m new to alpine touring and not sure how much I’ll be skinning back country over lift service. Is there a good middle ground? Or is it more heavy boots and bindings to skin once a year or lightweight lose downhill performance are the only options. Excuse my newby ignorance.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 April 11th, 2016 9:39 am

    Erik, while the lighter weight stuff doesn’t lose as much performance as urban mythology says it does, you still would want “cross over” gear if you were using much at resort. Or, if hardly touring at all, see next paragraph.

    So, yeah, if you’re skinning once a year just rent touring gear. Or, even if it’s twice a year. In other words, how about just staying with your alpine gear, figuring out a place to hire touring gear, and see how much you actually use it?

    Otherwise, you need a plan that at least estimates your percentage of backcountry use, as well as your ski ability and the type of ski touring you’re going to be doing.


  3. Darren Jakal April 11th, 2016 12:06 pm

    Thanks for the trip report. Rogers Pass is a great destination and I like the Asulkan hut, but with fantastic terrain, snow and isolation ? not to mention wood heat and a sauna ? the greatest Canadian hut (of the ACC huts anyway) would have to be Fairy Meadow.

  4. Lisa Dawson April 11th, 2016 4:07 pm

    Beautiful photos! Nice to see the views when it’s not socked in.

  5. Jean-Sebastien Chartier-Plante April 11th, 2016 4:10 pm

    Ski ForeverYoung last week, just after the snow!
    You should have been there! It was amazing!
    Great photos!

  6. See April 11th, 2016 8:15 pm

    Enjoyed the trip report and the pictures, but I’m curious about the less pretty parts— like the icy couloir. I’d like to see what’s beyond the roll over in picture 7. Granted, sometimes one just doesn’t feel like doing photography, but more details regarding the Shenanigans might be entertaining and instructive.

  7. Louie III April 12th, 2016 2:54 pm

    Thanks! I didn’t take any pictures while in the coulior, too focused on the skiing. I’d gladly give more details on the shenanigans if they only involved myself. However, it involved several people, and out of respect to their privacy I’ll leave out further details. Importantly, we all got down in one piece and without any (major) injuries. If the other folks want to comment further, i’ll leave that up to them.

  8. Drew Tabke April 12th, 2016 3:43 pm

    Dude sick man! Good luck on the next mission up north, can’t wait to hear about it!

  9. Lee Lau April 12th, 2016 6:15 pm

    See – this is what Forever Young looks like


  10. See April 12th, 2016 9:51 pm

    Understood, Louie. I should have said “entertaining and/or instructive.” Sorry to hear there were injuries but glad they were only minor. And thanks for highlighting the great skiing up there. I’ve done three trips around Revelstoke and Golden and they were all excellent. I need to get back to Canada.

    And thanks Lee. That’s what I was wondering about. Very impressive looking even if snow is good.

  11. Kyle Langley February 13th, 2017 6:27 pm

    Hey, I hope this comment section isn’t too old for a question. Stunning photos! Myself and some friends are doing three night at the Asulkan this April (2017), and I am trying to figure out the best way to transport our food etc. Did you guys haul your gear in with backpacks or sleds/pulks?

  12. Julia Dubinina April 21st, 2017 4:16 pm

    Hey Kyle,

    Just found your comment – it is April, so not sure if you have already gone or not, but we basically carried everything in our backpacks (no sleds). I did the funky “backpack in a backpack” trick – stuffed my avy pack into a 60L backpacking pack. Overall worked pretty well, just a wee bit heavy on the way up.
    We had 7 people in the trip and 3 nights, 4 days in the hut. Each person took a meal (breakfast or dinner) and lunch was on your own. That worked pretty well!

    Hope you had (or will have) a great trip! We were just up there in the beginning of April and it was stunning!


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