Powder Highway Tour – Rogers Pass and the Finale

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I am starting to feel that a ski trip isn’t complete without a visit to Rogers Pass.

After almost a two-week powder turn drought, due to a high pressure system camped over much of BC, the snow finally returned. For those who have visited and explored this backcountry mecca, you know what I mean when I talk about the the excitement in one’s eyes and the longing feeling to experience another day in the depths of this terrain. For people who have yet to make the pilgrimage, it is a source of inspiration, and a goal to be in the best shape to maximize your time there.

Parks Canada has done a great job over the past few years exploiting this winter wonderland. The rangers themselves are skiers and genuinely want to help you make the most of your trip. This includes navigating the slightly complex permit system. For 2013 however they have made the annual permit process much easier with the help of an online quiz. If you are making a trip out this year, make sure to complete your quiz and do your research as this will save you at least 45 minutes to the start of your ski day!

This year’s visit to Rogers Pass started with a 30cm dump followed by a 15cm dump which bumped the below-average snow pack up, but still left the lower elevations a little bare. This week one of my long time ski buddies who I have shared many days with over the last five years made the trip from his new home in Calgary. It is always awesome to ski with Mike as he and I have learned the backcountry craft side by side and operate like a well oiled machine. This makes for maximum skiing and great photos. I have to credit Mike with helping start this whole PowderGangster project.

Having spend almost 50 days in Rogers pass over the past few years the quiver of go to zones is growing large. This allows us to zero in on the best quality snow while avoiding the hordes that seem to be flocking to the old standby area’s. It is harder to tour in solitude when all the permits zones are closed lets be honest there is space for everyone in the whiteroom.

I can only describe the last three days of our Powder Highway Tour as magical. I could go on about where we skied, the routes, the vertical per day, and all that other information but sometimes pictures can do the talking. The experience of skiing deep powder in one of your favorite areas with old friends is awesome. And adding a new member to the possee was a bonus – one who we might have ruined his taste for the Rockies’ facets.

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