Chickadee Peak GR:605789

elevation: 2,820 m. height gain: 1,180 m.
area: Kootenay Park,BC map 82 N/1-N/8
2015-Mar-08


Ref: The Raffinator
alpenglow


Alpenglow over Tumbling Peak.
Snowshoe trip: RT 9.0; 5.5 up. This weekend is bringing the tail end of the snowpack's stable trend; the temperature is rising along with forecasted snow and wind. Even though I'm unable to ski for the moment, I don't like to miss out an opportunity to get up in the alpine, especially in the winter. I jotted down this objective after reading Raff's trip report, the appealing winter scenery and good approach are compelling factors. Charles came along and decided to use skis, smart! I encouraged Fab to take skis as well but he didn't want to leave me behind on the descent and chose snowshoes; thanks hun! On the ascent, we were on par with Charles and reached the back of the draw in good time. We located the avalanche swath and started breaking trail up into the basin. The snow slope up the swath didn't provide a strong surface crust, boot-top postholing ensued. Once in the basin, the windblown snow carried our weight most of the time. There was evidence of surface sloughing on the steep mountainsides below rocks, it's to be expected from a sun exposed basin. The grade was gentle until we veered left in a westerly direction; there, we negotiated steep slopes and some sidehilling before the summit came into view. We were happy to finally see the top, it is hidden until the very end. It got quite windy up there, we all struggled to get our layers on and take pictures. We noticed a group of skiers at Chimney Col doing the Chickadee Traverse. After a brief stay, we left the scenic viewpoint. The skiing wasn't good, that was my consolation for being on snowshoes... Fab released a small surface slab over a steep roll with protruding rocks; only 10 cm deep and not confined in a terrain trap, this avalanche was trivial but sometimes it's the trivial stuff that hurts! Charles made his way while waiting for us here and there; at the main trail, we said our goodbyes. He saved a good hour on the descent to the parking lot and I saved my knee for yet another journey!
chickadee valley

Chickadee Valley often grants a good uptrack.

further up

Further up the drainage.

back of the draw


At this point, we ascended an avalanche path to the right, north of us.


access avalanche path


The avalanche path gives way to a basin.


in the basin


Lovely trekking in the basin.


looking back


Looking back.


blue sky


Making our way under blue sky.


rounding a corner


Rounding a corner and changing direction in the basin.


sun-baked slopes


Steep sun-baked slopes ahead.


above steep slopes


Above the steep slopes.


summit still hidden


The summit is still hidden.


the top appears


Finally, the top appears!


very windy


It's very windy; lucky for us, the temperature is mild.


at the top


At the top with Chimney Peak in the background.


skiers at chimney col


There's a group of skiers at Chimney Col (below shadow) doing the Chickaboom Traverse.


leaving the top


Leaving the top with Storm Mountain in front of us.


boom lake


Boom Lake at the foot of Boom Mountain.


great skiing terrain


This trip offers great terrain for skiing!


oops


Oops!


avalanche


We released a surface slab cutting through the rocks.


chasing charles


Chasing Charles who is on skis.


much faster on skis


Survival skiing is still hugely faster than walking...


down the access swath


Down the avalanche swath to the main uptrack.


pump track


Back on the pump track!
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