Grizzly Mountain

elevation: 2,754 m. height gain: 1,440 m.
area: Rogers Pass,BC map 82 N/5
2014-Jan-26


Park at the Rogers Pass Discovery Center. Skin up Connaught Drainage for a short distance to the Grizzly Fan, 625832. The route ascends Teddy Bear Trees (very steep treed slopes climber's left of the slide path) and gains Grizzly Mountain's southern ridge. Near the top, bootpacking to the ridge crest may be required depending on snow coverage and conditions. The summit ridge is interrupted by a short class 3 scramble leading to the south summit. Just beyond are the Grizzly Couloir and the north peak.
**Permit required for this tour**
area map
Grizzly area map.
Ski touring: 8.25; 6.0 up. With a reasonably stable snowpack and a great forecast, we headed to Rogers Pass for some ski touring; we met our good friend Val at the Discovery Center. We started the trek rather casually but the going got tougher once we started to ascend the Teddy Bear Trees. Luckily for us, the trail was packed; still, countless switchbacks on very steep terrain made the narrow uptrack challenging. We climbed slowly, stripped down to our thermal layers; it was already close to zero degrees. The relentless climb took us to easier terrain at treeline; above the valley cloud, we enjoyed the phenomenal view while basking in the sun. With a strong inversion in place and a forecasted high of 8 degrees, we decided to forgo a descent in the infamous south facing Grizzly Couloir. With sleeves rolled up, we continued along the south ridge; although the snow was firm and sun affected in areas, I had a feeling we would get a decent ski down. We stayed on our skis as long as we could; weaving through rocks, we aimed for the existing bootpack up the rocky rib. Fab and I left our skis behind for the final push to the ridge crest, that was an easy decision since we weren't skiing the couloir. Once on the summit ridge, we scrambled up a small buttress dotted with a cairn; the close-by summit appeared to be taller. I continued along the ridge towards the Grizzly Couloir; I wanted to peer down it. I was afraid I would regret not bringing my skis... Indeed, when I stood atop the inviting pitch, I really wished we were all here with our skis... I strolled onto the northern summit, took numerous pictures and headed back to join Fab and Val, nicely nestled in the sun. We hung out for as long as we could; already late afternoon, we couldn't linger. Fab and I decided to glissade while Val skied the slope beside the ascent rib. The snow was quite isothermal, sluggish punchy glissades started wet point releases. That's when Val tweaked his knee; after a pause, he stood up and started to hike down the ridge carefully. Fortunately, by the time he reached the bottom of the rocky rib, he was able to get on his skis and gently negotiate the terrain avoiding further injury. The skiing was actually quite decent, I found Grizzly Bowl to be a pleasant and direct ski out. ascent ridge in the sun
Grizzly Mountain's south ridge from Glacier Lodge.
teddy bear trees
We're aiming for the Teddy Bear Trees, climber's left of Grizzly's slide path.
very warm
Above zero temperature, we're stripped to our thermal layers.
nice terrain
Nice terrain.
grizzly shoulder
Grizzly Shoulder.
very steep
The terrain is very steep before reaching treeline.
looking down
Looking down into Grizzly Bowl.
nice break
A nice break at treeline; almost no wind, loving it!
treeline
The grade eases at treeline and the objective is clearly visible.
like spring skiing
It looks like skiing will be good.
illecillewaet glacier and sir donald
Mount Sir Donald and the Illecillewaet Glacier south-east of us.
strong inversion
Valley bottom cloud accompanying a very strong temperature inversion.
balu, ursus major and video
Balu Peak (8812), Ursus Major Mountain (center) and the top of Video Peak (Bear's Teeth) on the right.
ascent ridge
We kept our skis on for as long as we could.
looking back
Looking back.
joining the bootpack
Just about to join the existing bootpack.
view west
View west towards Balu, Ursus Major and Video again; Ursus Minor is barely visible on the far right.
whole route
Looking down the whole route.
summit ridge
Finally on the summit ridge.
a bit of scrambling
Scrambling up to the summit.
north peak
The true summit may be beyond the Grizzly Couloir, off I go!
grizzly couloir
The Grizzly Couloir; I really wish we were all here with our skis...
fab on the first summit
Fabrice is waving from the first summit.
sifton and rogers
The north-eastern view includes Mount Sifton and the numerous peaks that form Mount Rogers (engulfed in cloud).
the hermit
To the upper left is the Tupper and Swiss Glaciers, The Hermit is at the far right.
nice spot
Very nice spot for a break.
isothermal snow
Glissading back to our skis while Val attempts to ski the isothermal snow.
glissading with val's skis
While Val comes down the ridge carefully, Fab carries his skis the easiest way possible.
back on skis
Back on skis and the conditions are decent!
steep skiing
Val is able to negotiate the steep terrain on his tweaked knee.
grizzly bowl
Pleasant and direct ski out Grizzly Bowl.
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