Rogers Pass 3-days Touring April 2022
Last year the snowfall was pitiful in Tahoe. Until I left for Canada of course. Luckily Canada had a big year too. Marty and I drove up to the promise land so i could see if my old friend Roger’s Pass remembered me from 15 years ago. I’d say he welcomed us, but we couldn’t sleep there like last time at the Best Western right at the pass. Now that spot is the visitor center, where you have to take a test to get a permit to pull over and park anywhere up there. I couldn’t get every one of the 35 questions right each time, but I sure learned 34 of the Rogers Pass facts. Anyway, you just go get your day pass when they open at 7am and go skiing if you can’t pass the test. Multiple choice hell with trick questions and no answers to look up.
We base camped in the Truck in Revelstoke and drove the 30 miles up to the pass 3 days in a row. The first day was just a short loop to Balu Pass, where I had been with Roger Slavin in 2007. The views get really amazing at the pass, and we skied a run on Cheops Mountain. Next time I hope to get to the summit of this peak. We got a late start and were satisfied just to get out of the Truck after 2 days of driving.
On day two I picked out a tour I read about called Dome Col Traverse. I clocked it at 11.4 miles and 4741′ of climbing. I parked at the Loop Brook Trailhead and skied this loop counterclockwise. you could do it either way I suppose, but this way made the end a downhill all the way to the car. We only had one vehicle, so we had to ski a few miles on the side of the highway, which you are not supposed to do. The terrain just didn’t allow for travel on the snow, the dirty rubble pile of snowplow debris was pretty difficult to skin or walk on. And we couldn’t skin through the thick trees next to it. The solution would have been to drop a bicycle at the upper trailhead and coast down the highway to retrieve the truck. We didn’t bring the bike from Tahoe though. This was a really sweet tour up and across the Lily glacier, over Dom Col, and down into the Asulkan Valley. I had been up to the Asulkan Hut with Roger and skied Young’s Peak in 2007. We didn’t ski by the Hut this time, and instead left the upper glacier powder skiing below The Rampart, to B-line more directly into the valley. This was a mistake as the slope was crust over deep dry snow. It was nearly impossible to make a turn without a snowplow stop for each change in direction. Oh, the survival ski techniques you just can’t learn at a ski area.
For day three we went up Mt. Rogers, the highest peak in the range. This guy is right above the visitor’s center, accessed from a nearby trailhead called Hermit. Gaia has this day for us at 10.3 miles and 6250′ climbing. We scored great weather and only one other party on the mountain. I didn’t mind following their tracks, although finding the route was pretty straight forward. They broke the trail up the final 2000′ Swiss Glacier and we caught them at the top. We roped up for the glacier, as recommended by the guy working at the visitor’s center that morning. That was cool, that the guy handing you the parking pass is willing to talk a little about the skiing options with some knowledge. The glacier was so filled in though, it must have been 10′ deep at minimum and no sagging spots were in our path to the summit. On the way down we skied right through our skin track unroped. At the summit we enjoyed no wind and the most amazing views of our lives. The other guys were from Calgary and had not been up there. They were stoked, but kind of toast. They insisted I ski first. After making sure they really didn’t want first tracks, and looking at their narrow skis, I said Well OK! I got to ski down the entire run first, followed by Marty who was just picking up skiing that season for the first time. He has snowboarded for decades in the backcountry, and I’ll post the video in the reply below. You gotta watch it. We took an interesting variation on the way back to the trailhead to make a loop out of the tour.
After the tour we went back to Revelstoke and surfed IG like dorks that night. I noticed Sourcer Lodge advertised 4 sudden openings in 2 days for half price! Weather was moving in, and I knew it would more likely snow up at the highest elevation where these backcountry ski lodges are. And I have been to a few. 6 days of guided backcountry skiing with the posh comfort of a rustic house that sits up at the foot of glaciers? with a chef? For nearly the same price we were spending on gas and food already. Check my Sourcer Lodge post next! And go there!
i can send you GPX tracks for any of these tours if you like of my Rogers Pass tours from this post.