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There are dozens of mountains to ski tour at Rogers Pass. Each day we found a new place to explore in this infinite terrain. One of the places we toured was Balu Pass, in the Bruins area, which starts from right behind the lodge. It's out the back door and start skinning!
It is a nice, open alpine area and depending on how far you go in through this area to do laps the elevation gain is between 760 metres and 1,160 metres.
We did go through some threatening avalanche chutes here and there, so checking avalanche conditions is a must. Though the terrain in some of the ski tour areas is gentle there can be complex avalanche terrain ratings.
It goes without saying that users need to be properly prepared for their backcountry skiing adventure and experienced. Nearly 300 avalanche-related deaths have occurred here in the past century.
Compared to where I usually ski in the Duffy Lake road area, the terrain felt more threatening making me more cautious than usual.
The day we skied this area was very cold, - 27 C. It was so cold I could not move my fingers in my gloves to tighten my ski boots, or take more pictures in this breathtaking area or even sit down for lunch.
We just tried to keep moving. All I ate was a rock hard Pro Bar and chocolate. It's the first time my toes and heels have ever lost sensation in my thermal boots. But the snow we found was awesome, fluffy, amazing powder despite the unusually low snow pack for December.
Another area we checked out was McGill Pass, which starts from 17 kilometres west of Glacier Park Lodge. We parked at the Bostock pullout. But before you go remember to get a winter permit for this area at the Rogers Pass Discovery Center.
This is a great destination for an overcast day. We had lazy starts each day we explored this area so trails were already broken for us like a highway. There were a lot of people but the mountains are so big there were plenty of spots to ski and find your own fresh tracks. Again, depending on how many laps you do, and how far you go, vertical gain is about 1,150 metres or more. Just be careful how you ski out after enjoying the great runs on the chutes from McGill Shoulder. We were aiming to get back on the summer hiking routes that run near the bottom of the valley, but instead we ended up doing some bush-wacking to get out.
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