Splitboard.com Forums

The World's first exclusive splitboard discussion forums






It is currently Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:21 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Surprise Pass (Lake Louise)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:50 pm
Posts: 27
April 23, 2011

Surprise Pass is popular spring tour, finishing with a 700 meter chute down to the back of Lake Louise. There’s a fair number of TR’s about this one, but I haven’t seen anything from a splitter’s perspective.

Zee and I left Calgary around 6:30 and were on the trail by 9:00. You follow the trail for Saddleback Pass, starting near the Lake Louise boat house. After 2 hours of gradual climbing over 3.7 km, we made it up to Saddleback Pass.

Saddleback Couloir – On the to do list
Image
Me and Zee at Saddleback Pass:
Image
Image
Image

From Saddleback Pass, the route leaves the hiking trail and traverses below the slopes of Mt. Fairview into upper Sheol Valley.
Image

This is the 100 meter convex slope that Chic Scott warns about in Summits & Icefields. Zee transitioned to ride it, while I split skied it. The slope very slick with sun crust, but I was just barely able to hold an edge across the traverse. If you can ski this section, it will save you some time, but don’t bother unless you’re confident in your skiing abilities.
Image
Image

Another kilometer across the upper section of Sheol Valley brings you to the base of the 100 meter couloir you have to climb. You literally don’t see it until the last minute, hence the name, Surprise Pass. (mostly hidden on the left).
Image
Image

The climb up to the pass was fairly difficult, since it was very crusted over and full of frozen debris from small wet slides, but I was able to skin all the way to the top with the help of split crampons. Zee managed to skin about halfway up, before booting up the final half of the couloir.
Image
Image

The descent:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Me riding down (courtesy of Zee's iPhone)


In spring conditions, I would highly recommend bringing split crampons. They weren’t absolutely necessary, but they were very useful. If Zee had some (he was on Karakorams, so I couldn’t lend him mine), we could have moved much more easily from Saddleback Pass to the 100 meter descent and they were invaluable for climbing the couloir.

An ice axe wouldn’t be out of place for climbing the couloir in any conditions.

More pics and full res here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/powrider_kevsauer/sets/72157626443743157/with/5650206163/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Surprise Pass (Lake Louise)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:55 am
Posts: 159
It was an awesome trip... that traverse was super icy, and forgetting to tighten my boots made it that much more exciting.

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Surprise Pass (Lake Louise)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:49 pm
Posts: 45
Nice one guys! Looked like a great tour. Been thinking about getting out to do this one myself. Drop me a PM if you guys are heading out for some spring turns in the next couple of weeks! The fat lady isn't singing just yet....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Surprise Pass (Lake Louise)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:28 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Calgary AB
Solid TR boys. Kevin, your pics are always a treat to checkout after a day in the BC with you.

Mac


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  





Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group