Turns All Year Trip Reports

2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => March 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: jtack on 03/23/13, 10:30 PM

Title: March 17-20 Kooteney Pass
Post by: jtack on 03/23/13, 10:30 PM
Kooteney pass has been on my list for quite awhile, and last week things came together for the trip.  My ski partner had been battling a nasty cold, and was on the injured reserve, but he rallied.  A Six hour drive from Wenatchee put us on the pass in plenty of time to look over the country and plan for the next days skiing.  There was about six or seven inches of light snow on top of a very durable rain crust, and the forecast was for more snow.  Monday morning it was snowing like crazy and basically did not stop all day.  We set up camp (the camper) right at the pass, and that worked great. We used a great map put out by Big Horn maps, and while expensive, they are fantastic quality and really make navigating the area a snap. 

[img width=800]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-q6mfZPjvocA/UUvu01ULPqI/AAAAAAAAEUQ/epuSIqPlxh0/s800/IMG_5610.JPG[/img]

Our First day of touring was in the Baldy Rock area, we made laps on the North side, as well as the south side, since we were not familiar with the area we took it pretty easy, sticking to modest terrain and had a fun day. We made a pass by the Ripple Ridge hut and it sure looked like a great place to stay. We had booked a night Wednesday, through the online booking and were excited to come back.

[img width=800]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-MEQG-4zujfQ/UUvu1HHMJQI/AAAAAAAAEUY/mhrLS5NmURw/s800/IMG_5617.JPG[/img]

[img width=600 height=800]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-C582pfgLZMg/UUvu2Cw13LI/AAAAAAAAEU8/unUlgHZh0JY/s640/IMG_5620.JPG[/img]

Local art
[img width=800]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fiiZ8-W2Td4/UUvu2RCKlZI/AAAAAAAAEU0/0d7-_XiVvAg/s800/IMG_5621.JPG[/img]

[img width=800]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-vm1kYTwpz9U/UUvu2qdM9qI/AAAAAAAAEVE/Qyi_o9eko8o/s800/IMG_5622.JPG[/img]

Day two, we were working on a lazy start when we had a knock at the door by Ray, who was looking for some ski partners, fortunately, we said we would love to go on a tour, and after a hasty breakfast while Ray shuttled a car down the road to the power line crossing we were on our way.  What a day we had, plenty of fresh snow, a power trail breaker and clear skies.  Ray lives in Salmo and tours at the pass regularly, we just got in line and tried to keep up.  The tour of the day started up Cornice Ridge, past the avalanche control cannons that are used to keep the snow safe for HWY 3

[img width=800]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uuLXFnT87Fs/UUvu4e7249I/AAAAAAAAEVg/LvdFPe7d1t0/s800/IMG_5627.JPG[/img]

No spring chickens here
[img width=800]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-_HNH-T0WG_k/UUvu5VG_4iI/AAAAAAAAEV4/OQsKtKJYFJ4/s800/IMG_5630.JPG[/img]

[img width=600 height=800]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-uX1QKwY22lA/UUvu5npT8sI/AAAAAAAAEWA/UlAMlaMFTbc/s640/IMG_5631.JPG[/img]

[img width=800]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-xgZCDwzitF0/UUvu6Pke0BI/AAAAAAAAEWQ/ZngBQwcA6PI/s800/IMG_5634.JPG[/img]

[img width=800]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-BMRiKEyFUYs/UUvu6gYL7eI/AAAAAAAAEWY/N3-WopRg-2A/s800/IMG_5635.JPG[/img]

Ray just kept working up the ridge picking off wonderful north aspect lines, with 15-16 inches of great snow, blue above, and fantastic views in every direction.  From on the ridge we could look into the lower country and see signs of the woodland caribou herd that live in the area, unfortunately we were never able to see one of them.  The last run of the day was from Wolfe Ridge, down to the power line right of way, and out to the car waiting on the road.

[img width=800]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SZHSKr7jDCU/UU5pNz3pi-I/AAAAAAAAEYo/fVBxHDieT0s/s800/IMG_1286.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i_vyNnkgmBI/UU5pPxfJQeI/AAAAAAAAEZQ/O0pH8cJwB_Q/s800/IMG_1312.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-6qiMfCSCNaI/UU5pT-KU-gI/AAAAAAAAEag/I4vpSDwHRsY/s800/No%2520name%2520panorama.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9KWjiQtAocw/UU5pYroyzvI/AAAAAAAAEb4/M8qjTmfqNYw/s800/IMG_1306.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ZBUiR4SX39Y/UU5pY8aDUBI/AAAAAAAAEcA/x6XjPeMGrKw/s800/IMG_1307.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ejPLuxgAAuI/UU5pcCnfTCI/AAAAAAAAEc8/uR6T39cllwU/s800/IMG_1292.jpg[/img]

It is a very fun place with powder, and I think the corn harvest could be just as fun.

We had planed to stay the week, but my partners cold took a turn for the worse, and we ended up leaving for home early, made a sad affair by the addition of even more snow Wednesday, I had to make a few quick laps by myself, and we headed for home.   

Title: Re: March 17-20 Kooteney Pass
Post by: aaron_wright on 03/24/13, 06:49 AM
Good to see Peter having some fun despite his cold. Looks like a great area.

Title: Re: March 17-20 Kooteney Pass
Post by: mikerolfs on 03/24/13, 08:04 AM
Boy Jamie that looks like a great trip.  Nice shots of you skiing.  You sure got the good snow!

Title: Re: March 17-20 Kooteney Pass
Post by: Zap on 03/24/13, 08:25 AM
Great trip meeting Ray. We toured on the south side and meet a family with kids touring in to spend the week at the cabin.  Great snow.  We had our camper and only met the family.  A great place.  ;)

Title: Re: March 17-20 Kooteney Pass
Post by: runcle on 03/24/13, 08:41 PM
Looks like great skiing!

Thanks for sharing.

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