Rogers Pass Base Camp Skiing

By:  Ben
September 1, 2010

We went to bed the first night with high hopes and full stomachs, having just watched the sun set with Roger’s Pass spread out below our feet. When we woke up in the morning, we couldn’t even see the next patch of trees.

I think it snowed last night...

A storm had come in overnight, dropping 6-8” of fresh snow. Although this nixed our plans of heading up onto the glacier or the Seven Steps of Paradise higher up (once above treeline, visibility was approximately 0), we quickly began to ski the fresh snow in the trees and chutes below our campsite. Although not quite Utah blower, the new snow was light enough to give some great wind-drift faceshots and smiles to everyone in the crew

At least the powder was good! Tom Flynn freeing his mind

and again!

After skiing all morning and a good part of the afternoon we returned to camp. Unfortunately, camp was still in a cloud, and it was still snowing. In a nice propane-heated hut, this might be fine, but with our tents and lack of shelter it proved extremely difficult to dry anything out. We had a late lunch and motivation to go out and get our base layers even wetter was low. We retreated to the tent and began to play cards and drink some of our precious, small whiskey supply in the waning hours of the afternoon. We ate an early dinner and an early bedtime, earnestly hoping the weather would clear so we could go and ski higher up

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  1. powhounddd
    wrote on September 1st, 2010 at 8:06 pm  

    Thank you. Between these TRs,watching Ice Road Truckers and snowboard trailers, I think I can survive both this ridiculous heat wave AND the rest of ragweed season. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!!!!!! Bring on the snow!

  2. Harvey44
    wrote on September 2nd, 2010 at 7:51 am  

    I’ll admit I had to Google Rogers Pass to figure out where it was. Having skied the west only 25 days in my life, it’s hard for me to grasp the feeling of being disappointed in cloudy snowy days. I mean I understand it, logically … blocking access to the terrain you were after. Love the skintrack pics and all the shots from the last two days. Must be great to ski so much that you don’t get all your TRs up until Labor Day. Great for us too. Let the temp dropping begin!

    • Ben
      wrote on September 2nd, 2010 at 11:19 pm  

      It’s a tricky question – you’re never really AGAINST new snow ;) but between visibility and avi conditions, it’s really the sunny days that let you get up high and ski the cool stuff!

  3. Patrick
    wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 10:30 am  

    Hey, sweet trip report. The pics were awesome.
    Some buddies and I are going to be doing some winter camping up at Rogers Pass this winter. I was curious what kind of camping gear you guys used and if you slept warm/comfortable through the night. Was a 0 Deg F rated sleeping bag warm enough, or did you need something rated below that??

    • Ben
      wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 10:39 am  

      Thanks Patrick! We used a 4-season Mountain Hardware Trango 3.1 tent. It worked great, even with all the snow (make sure you guy it out really well if it’s snowing a lot!). It wasn’t particularly cold, we had 0 F bags and were fine, although I’m sure it gets colder sometime. Make sure you’ve got plenty of food and a nice puffy and I think you’ll be all set most of the time, unless it’s a particularly cold spell. That place gets enough snow that the 4-season tent is pretty key though!

      Another good option is to check out the huts run by the Alpine Club of Canada. You have to reserve them way in advance and they’re more expensive, but that would definitely be a sweet option that would keep you warmer (and allow you to carry less up!)

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