Terminator Peak GR:952800

elevation: 2,408 m. height gain: 1,220 m.
area: Golden,BC map 82 N/6
2014-May-05


We parked at the administration buildings and ski toured below the Pionner Chair at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. We veered towards the gondola line and ascended "Show Off" to tower 15; from there, we climbed "Bowl Over" to the gondola top. We followed Terminator Ridge a short distance and bootpacked up to the summit.

If possible, check with ski patrol before leaving; they may request you stay out of some areas.
cloud layers
Looking down on Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, the cloud layers are beautiful.
Ski touring: RT 4.75 up. The weather this weekend was unsettled; a decent storm passed through dumping 40 cm of snow across the Rockies. We didn't want to drive anywhere, we chose a convenient objective close by. Terminator Peak is easily accessible from the top of the gondola, it is a popular destination for slackcountry skiing during winter months. Now that the ski hill is closed, the area feels more natural and quiet. The ascent offers reasonable height gain, we were lucky to use existing uptracks to tower 15. We broke trail into Bowl Over, the fresh snow was already well settled and ski penetration only boot-top. It felt nice to arrive at the top of the gondola; there was no one, just ravens flying about. This reminded us of when we used to ski tour up here in the Whitetooth days. We followed Terminator Ridge for a short distance and left our skis behind to bootpack up the summit. We sat at the top for quite some time; the sky was painted with several layers of clouds, the valley below appeared to be filled like the sea. Eventually, our attention turned to the descent and we started down. We were keen to ski the bowl; we waited for a sunny window and after stomping on the wind lip and ski cutting the top of the slope, Fab dove in. Then came my turn. I skied the deep heavy snow with enthusiasm until I felt instant heat in one knee and it gave way... I fell to my side and came down the slope sitting on a small wet point release avalanche. Dang, I've suffered numerous knee injuries in the past but this one felt different; I sat for a moment then stood up and freed my skis from the stiffened snow with difficulty. I skied back down to tower 15, mostly on one leg. When we started down Show Off, the upside down snow proved too tough to ski and I fell again, it really hurt... Fab took my skis and I walked from that point. I still managed to fall a couple more times before reaching the truck... that's when it dawned on me that I had really damaged my knee, sigh... This outing was very nice, we're glad we went despite the injury; c'est la vie!

09-Feb-2015, update on my injury.
A visit at the Sport Medical Clinic in Banff comfirmed a torn ACL requiring surgery.
gondola
Reaching the gondola line.
looking back
Looking back again.
in the cloud
As we climb Show Off, we're in and out a cloud layer.
out of the cloud
Breaking out of the cloud layer.
above the clouds
Gorgeous weather above the valley fog.
into bowl over
Past tower 15 and into Bowl Over.
back of the draw
Continuing to the back of the draw.
gondola top
Aiming for the gondola's top station.
terminator peak
Terminator Peak (T1) and T2 on the right.
terminator ridge
Dipping down on Terminator Ridge, the cat track is still obvious.
getting close
The objective is close by.
aiming for a saddle
Ascending to a saddle where we'll leave the skis.
bootpacking
Bootpacking up to the summit.
eagle eye's restaurant
Blue Heaven and The Molars behind the Eagle's Eye restaurant.
at the top
Arriving at the top.
t2
T2 is another fantastic destination for some great long runs.
cheers
Cheers!
heading back
Heading back.
about to ski
Waiting for a sunny window to ski down Bowl Over.
survival skiing
Survival skiing on one leg back to tower 15.
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