Glacier Ski/Snowboard - Observation Rock/North Face


Glacier Ski/Snowboard - Observation Rock/North Face

Day trip to ski on the Flett and Russell glaciers and maybe drop into the climbing route on Observation Rock.

  • M3G Expert Glacier Ski
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 16.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 9,200 ft
  • Pace: 1000-1200ft/hr

Mowich Lake Parking Lot 7AM.

When you ask for permission: describe your fitness and skiing experience.  I'll be checking profiles for either (1) Basic Alpine Climbing or Glacier Travel badges; or (2) Scramble grads with a good level of experience, as we'll probably boot up some steeper snow.

This is a long day in beautiful surroundings, and it will be a mountain multi-sport day — hiking (with skis on packs), ski touring, some steep snow, and some amount of light scrambling to get over moraines and other obstacles.  Depending how things look (and hopefully they look good because this trip is early), we'll ascend and ski the usual climbing route next to Observation Rock (a now disconnected toe/tongue of the Flett Glacier, really), and then we'll head over to the Russell Glacier where there are some roughly 600m continues lines to ski.

The Flett and Russell both have some cracks, including some sizable person-eating ones up high on the headwall and some smaller ski-over ones down low on the Russell, so we'll carry harnesses and extraction gear just in case.

Here are some tracks from previous outings to this zone overlaid on Google Earth.

Screenshot 2024-06-03 at 12.09.19 PM.png


Observation Rock/North Face

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Boots, skis/snowboard, poles
  • Skins and ski crampons (or other method to travel uphill on snow)
  • Avalanche shovel (metal blade)
  • Avalanche beacon (optional)
  • Avalanche probe (optional)

Glacier travel gear:

  • Harness.
  • Rescue gear
  • Rope (leaders)
  • Ice screws (leaders)
  • Boot crampons, piolet/ice axe (for booting)
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