10 minute ski). You soon gain a prominent logging road west of the lot. MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 9. The two most loaded words in skiing are ‘variable conditions’ and that’s what we had on the Robertson Glacier. Read More. As the forest breaks, you’ll gain view of the hole-in-the-wall couloir. ELEVATION GAIN: 900m/2952’ After taking in the summit, assess conditions for the NW facing “Sweet Sixteen” which leads to Murray Creek and out to the car. ROUTE: #9  This route provided by Shaun King of Mountain Sense. Over the years Canadian and U.S. junior … ATES RATING: Complex (3). The slope that must be climbed is steep, and often has variable wind-loaded conditions. In other words, you start off in the same parking lot and DO NOT turn left toward the French Glacier; rather, continue straight along the first  4km of the trip which are relatively flat—skins are not required if you pick the right ski wax. … hail mixed with rain. MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 The Haig Glacier is adjacent to a huge snow “scoop”--views from here are stunning! Black Prince Traverse ELEVATION GAIN: 1000m/3280’ Here you can choose to either stick to the main road winding along through the trees, or detour right onto the more open and exposed Burstall Lakes and alluvial plain. 415 County Road 81, Osseo, MN 55369. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-mobile-leaderboard-2','ezslot_17',633,'0','0']));From the parking lot follow the trail to Elbow Lake, turn right at Elbow Lake. Athletes who ski at the glacier enjoy both moon-like scenery where the camp buildings are located, as well as skiing in all kinds of condtions on the glacier itself, which is about a 45 minute hike uphill from the camp. On the traverse, you will be travelling through challenging and complex glaciated terrain. To get to the Robertson Glacier, you follow the first leg of the tour into Burstall Pass (es). Many groups decide to rope-up here before continuing further. and park at the Sawmill Day use area (between Burstall Pass and Black Prince parking). Backcountry skiing is an inherently dangerous activity that requires experience and knowledge to travel safely. ELEVATION GAIN: 900m/2952’ You soon gain a prominent logging road west of the lot. There are several large avalanche paths that extend down to valley bottom that you will be required to traverse below. grooming (it can be relatively easy to drive a groomer or to ski into One option is to ski down parallel to your uptrack (see map), which will put you in the direction of your ski-out. However, stronger and more advance groups may choose to drop down over the north pass and ski the glades and trees down towards Leman Lake. I venture to guess that neither is considered safe skiing for the majority if not all of ski season. 763-420-8981 [email protected] This proximity to Calgary (and Canmore) is a mixed blessing: it’s good news if you live there and want to get out of the city and into the wilderness, it’s bad news if you want to avoid other humans and enjoy a solitary experience in the backcountry. The Haig Glacier base camp was created for the Canadian National team after the Calgary Olympics as a high altitude on snow summer training venue. The Haig glacier via the … ROUTE: #6  Rd. MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 TIME: 5 hours MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 Ahead are obvious, large and active avalanche slopes, which are usually threatened by extensive cornices building on the south ridge of Snow Peak. French Glacier Follow this road up the drainage SE of Hero Knob (crossing below an impressive avalanche path that gets skied from the summit). Birdwood. Birch Klomparens, Josh Roubin, and Elijah Weenig will be headed to another on snow training camp in the heart of the Canadian Rockies at the end of the month. This is where you turn left, toward the south and the Robertson Glacier. skiing with temperatures hovering around zero. Don’t be fooled into thinking there is a trail, although there are “trails” that seem to lead in the general direction you want. ROUTE: #4  ELEVATION GAIN: 548m/1800’ You are responsible for your own safety in the backcounty—the team behind backcountryskiingcanada.com disclaim any responsibility for any injury resulting from people travelling on routes described on this site. To return to your vehicle, exit straight down the 5.75 km long Robertson Valley route you came in on until you join the Burstall Pass trail and turn right. Hero Knob Loop This gully will eventually take you into the lower section of an easterly ridge that offers top notch glade skiing. The second trip is to Haig Glacier (3.0km), where Canadian ski teams train during the summer months. From the col, you may ski down the Robertson Glacier selecting lines that avoid any obvious crevasses and open ice. As you head higher into the moraines, you’ll gain view of the pass that leads onto the Haig Glacier. ATES RATING: Complex Near the height of land (that passes over towards Warspite Lake), climb WSW through thin trees until the SW col (often corniced) of Purple Knob becomes visible. This is not a good spot to linger or have lunch. Climb to French-Haig col directly ahead which is further ahead of you than you might think! The Haig Glacier tour is worth checking out if you are curious, or if you have extra energy and want to explore beyond French Glacier (or Robertson if you come from the other direction). Once on the bench, either follow it directly up to the Hero SW col, or follow the treed ridge on the climber’s right to gain the summit (more convoluted, but safer). For summer skiing, up to 20 km of slopes are open and accessible via 10 lifts, including the Glacier Bus 3, capable … The Haig is a summer training site for the Canadian Cross Country Ski Team and the Beckie Scott Centre for High Altitude Training is located nearby to the south. ROUTE: #7  "Infinity Ski Poles - Lighter, Stronger, Faster, Better!". This is an excellent outing that combines the high passes encountered on the Purple Knob and Hero Knob Loops. Popping out beyond treeline, follow the obvious route up to the right toward the North Pass (the South Pass is a little over 1km further south). ATES RATING: Complex (3). The Haig Glacier Ski Camp, also known as The Beckie Scott High Altitude Training Center, is a seasonal Nordic ski camp used by clubs and teams from across north America. The infamous steep face separating the Haig Glacier from the Robertson Glacier. This trail begins to climb steeply after a few minutes, and continues into the alpine. To read our Terms of Use and get all the details, read, 45 km (1hr) drive south of Canmore on Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail, Park at the Elbow Lake parking lot on Highway 40 and follow the trail to Elbow Lake. We built this backcountry skiing community for you, the passionate skier, and hope you enjoy the hard work we put into all the reviews, routes, videos and posts we create. an organization which uses funds generated by the 1988 Olympics for French-Haig-Robertson Traverse A variety of wildlife can be found in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, such as grizzly bears, black bears, elk, deer, moose, bighorn sheep, cougars, lynx, wolves and the occasional mountain goat. ELEVATION GAIN: 950m/3100’ As you reach Bragg Creek via Red Wood Meadows, just west … 3. MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 As with the French ski-out, there is an excellent descent (see map) parallel to your uptrack, which will put you in the direction of your ski-out. After a 10 minute hike in from the parking lot, you will pass a public BCA Beacon Basin training park and, continuing straight on, you gradually climb about 75m vertical through the forest until you reach the broad, open valley of the Burstall Lakes. Stay out of the avalanche slopes leading up to the walled steep cliffs on your left. When the road ends, the trees thin and you will need to pick your way up steep slopes on the looker’s left (good skiing) to access the hidden open bench above. This will enable you to check out potential descents on your ski in, it’ll limit your exposure on the French and Haig Glaciers and the distance is a little shorter. ROUTE: #5  Another great trip to the Haig Glacier … Rest. This route is one of the shorter ones featured here and, accordingly, it attracts the most people. All routes listed here provided by An Anonymous Backcountry Powder Junkie. ATES RATING: Complex (3). A longer trek in the summer months if avalanche conditions are safe. The best (safest) route trends on looker’s left through mostly open sub-alpine forest well away from the runout zones. TIME: 4-6 hours On the day that we Highway 40 in this area is closed from December 1 to June 15. In terms of distance and risk exposure, you’ll  likely want to access this glacier the same way as you do for the French—in a clockwise direction, after turning left beyond the BCA Beacon park, and the trees, onto the much smaller trail. You can easily bail early after the first col if weather comes in. for most of the week. Haig Glacier Ski Camp. This road is just visible from the hwy with a keen eye. From the col, you may ski down the Robertson Glacier selecting lines that avoid any obvious crevasses and open ice. and park at a clearing ~ 1.5km SE of the Sawmill Day use area (between Burstall Pass and Black Prince parking). Don’t be fooled into thinking there is a trail, although there are “trails” that seem to lead in the general direction you want. The route follows the drainage all the way up to the terminal moraines of the glacier, but you may be required to detour through forested areas and/or climb steep and rocky creek beds. From here you will climb about 100m vertical through the forest on moderate switchbacks into the upper valley with the impressive south face of Mount Birdwood above you. Be aware though, that the best descents are from the Robertson and French. It is best skied mid-summer, early season, and late season after a large spring avalanche cycle to ensure the top of the glacier has slid. You cross Warspite Creek and work your way up again to the left. Rd. There are also several large avalanche paths that extend down to valley bottom that you will be required to traverse below. Focus is usually on technique, which can be hard considering the Haig is one of the most picturesque ski locations in the world. ATES RATING: Challenging (2). Haig Glacier Camp. TIME: 5 - 7 hours athlete development. The Haig Glacier is adjacent to a huge snow “scoop”--views from here are stunning! This will add and hour or so to your route and offers up some nice, moderately steep skiing in the alpine. At the top of the gully continue climbing through forest to the climber’s right of the slide path aiming for the broad bench above 2250m below the east ridge of Purple Knob (GR 240201 NAD 83). If visibility is poor, trending slightly off fall line to skiers left offers the most direct route off the ice. ROUTE: #2  If visibility is poor, trending slightly off fall line to skiers left offers the most direct route off the ice. 4. As you climb the road into the trees, you will see a much smaller trail exiting to the left which you should follow. MAP: 82 J/11 eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-leader-1','ezslot_11',168,'0','0']));Note, over the years global warming has been unkind to the Robertson as more and more holes seem to be opening up, particularly around the base of the glacier. Views from here are stunning! The ascent to the (often corniced) col SW of the Knob is serious terrain with no room for bad decision making so if you aren’t sure there are safer turns to be had off of Purple Knob’s east ridge and back the way you came. Skiing this entire traverse makes for a super-long day—an early start, decent weather, good snow stability and a high level of fitness are essential. For both routes, start at the Burstall Parking lot about 45 km (1 hour) south of Canmore on the Smith-Dorian road in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. OTHER ROUTES LOCATED IN PETER LOUGHEED PROVINCIAL PARK / KANANASKIS COUNTRY: From the Mount Black Prince parking area, follow the ski tracks or what is normally the summer trail that bleeds off of the parking area due west. The majority of the skiable terrain is exposed to overhead dangers, and the glacier has heavily wind loaded avalanche terrain at the top. Return to your vehicle the same route you skied-in on. The first 4km of the trip are relatively flat and skins are not required if you pick the right ski wax. TIME: 6 - 8 hours PAGE 1: HIDE PAGE 1 SHOW/HIDE PIC 1. The facility was the host site of the cross-country skiing and biathlon events at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. Farley is the glacier guru at the Haig. The route that seems to offer the lowest avalanche and crevasse exposure onto the glacier involves climbing up a large lateral moraine complex to climber’s left of the glacier. Backcountry skiing is an inherently dangerous activity that requires experience and knowledge to travel safely. Mostly, that strict diet has applied to North Americans who normally access snow in late spring and summer at a variety of venues. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_5',600,'0','0']));For a full listing of backcountry huts, cabins and lodges check out the Rocky Mountain cabins/huts/lodges page over here. The Haig Glacier is located … Rd. 10. ACCESS: Drive south (from Canmore) or north (from Calgary) on the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Lks. Needless to say, this kept things entertaining. Mostly the skiing … To access the Robertson Glacier as a one-off ski tour rather than doing the whole traverse, it makes sense to follow the traverse route in a counter-clockwise direction. The Haig Glacier and its Beckie Scott High Altitude Training … From regional racing to the World Cup. ATES RATING: Complex (3). TIME: 7 hours The 1500 ft. descent down the NW face from the SW col is amazing but starts with a steep & committing slope. Towards the top, the ridge narrows and when you hit exposed rock on the ridge, that is the top of this ski ascent. If you’re at all in doubt about the weather at this point, this is a decision point and may be a  good spot to bail. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_15',167,'0','0']));Overall, the route to the toe of the French Glacier is pretty straightforward, but, depending on the level of snow coverage, you may be required to do some “creative” route finding. ELEVATION GAIN: 600m/2000’ If you’re at all in doubt about the weather at this point, this is a good spot to bail. Past the avalanche slopes you now begin to get clear views of the North Burstall Pass and some nice yo-yo terrain. The Hintertux is one of the few remaining glaciers that's open for skiing 365 days a year. a crevasse when you can't see where you are going!). It will take you approximately 1km south into the French Creek valley. If you choose to, climb to French-Haig col directly ahead which is further ahead of you than you might think! An alternative route would be to summit Mount Rae, as per the scramble described in 'Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies' by Alan Kane, and ski a couloir down to the top of the glacier. Once on the Haig Glacier… Descend as described above. Depending on conditions, the last approximately 100m can be steep—an ice axe and crampons may be handy. If you choose to follow the French-Haig-Robertson traverse in a “counter clockwise” direction (see the overall map) toward Burstall, you’ll be taking the longer route. ), ROUTES: Skiers approach the top of the Haig glacier in February 2009. Follow this up as it curves around to the SE passing beneath slide paths off of Purple Knob’s NE face (good skiing here under safe conditions). Any of the routes on this site may be dangerous depending on conditions. Johnny Hagenbuch tells the story of his ski career over the last 4 years. The BWTC features a world-class fitness centre, a unique treadmill for cross-country skiing athletes, a training camp on a glacier… ROUTE: #3  Eventually you will come out into an open valley below the Birdwood – Snow Peak Col. Cross the Smith-Dorrien Creek at a clearing in the trees and aim for the southern of two drainages that exit east of Hero Knob. Before reaching the top of the moraine, begin traversing out right towards the glacier, eventually reaching it about ½ to 1/3 of the way to the col. 6. Skiing up the final stretch to Robertson Col can be “variable” and full of surprises—be very cautious of crevasses and holes which have opened up all over the glacier (esp. For two days we did mostly crust Head up the left side of slope towards the couloir/French Glacier. After the left turn near the parking lot, continue approximately 1km south into the French Creek valley. ACCESS: 45 km (1hr) drive south of Canmore on Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail  As you can see from our pictures, it is a As I mentioned, we had good weather for skiing most of the time, but Described clockwise as this is the easier ascent. ATES RATING: Complex (3). ELEVATION GAIN: 650m/2130’ glacier for the last 6 days. The routes appearing below will get you beyond the masses, and into the wild. And …. we couldn't see more than five metres ahead of us on the hike up to MAP: 82 J/11 The route that seems to offer the lowest avalanche and crevasse exposure onto the glacier involves climbing up a large lateral moraine complex to climber’s left of the glacier. MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 From here you will climb about 100m vertical through the forest on moderate switchbacks into the upper valley with the impressive south face of Mount Birdwood above you. Sometimes it is possible to see a snow groomer buried in a drift, awaiting the return of elite cross country skiers and biathletes. glacier are operated by the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA), After about 1.5km you will see the Robertson Col about 80-100m above you on the left. TEAM TELEMARK AT THE HAIG GLACIER July 29, 2019 Posted by Staff Seven Team Telemark Nordic athletes took part in the BC Ski Team’s glacier skiing camp at the Haig Glacier in Alberta. If you enjoy this web site and value the content we create for you, then please support Backountry Skiing Canada by donating today. Email. TIME: 4 - 6 hours The Haig is a summer training site for the Canadian Cross Country Ski Team and the Beckie Scott Centre for High Altitude … ACCESS: Drive south (from Canmore) or north (from Calgary) on the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Lks. Elan Ripstick 106 Skis Fritschi Xenic 10 Bindings Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Jacket Gregory Targhee 32 Pieps Micro Transceiver Scott Freeguide Boots ZAG SLAP 104 Skis, Marker Duke PT Bindings Salomon Shift Pro Boots Black Crows 2020 Skis Dalbello Quantum Boots Atomic Shift MNC Binding Scarpa F1 LT Boots New G3 2020 Poles. It’s where we all want to be, right? Look to the big map of the whole area and the options will become clearer. Portions of the Haig Glacier do extend into British Columbia, but the majority of the glacier is within Alberta and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. The Haig Glacier is located … ACCESS: 45 km (1hr) drive south of Canmore on Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail  Here, we describe the “clockwise” version of the tour (see the map). MAP: 82 J10; 82 J/11 MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-leader-4','ezslot_14',170,'0','0']));The route that seems to offer the lowest avalanche and crevasse exposure onto the glacier involves climbing up a large lateral moraine complex to climber’s left of the glacier. Burstall North Pass pretty spectacular place. ATES RATING: Complex (3). It provides another great circuit in some neat terrain with a fantastic ski descent, but requires good stability. The first 4km of the trip are relatively flat and skins are not required if you pick the right ski wax. There are lots of options for easy to moderate turns to be had in the terrain you just climbed up through, and a great day can easily be had yo-yo’ing below the North Pass. To return to your vehicle, exit straight down the 5.75 km long Robertson Valley until you join the Burstall Pass trail and make a right turn. The ski-in is about 5.75km from where the Robertson and Burstall trails meet. In good snow conditions, there is the option of skiing down a short canyon and avoiding the switchbacks below Mt. For example, it's used as a summer training spot for members of Canada's cross-country ski team. With our trip up to the Haig in July this year, coupled with the cool and wet spring Canmore experienced, the ski conditions were phenomenal. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-banner-1','ezslot_4',602,'0','0']));Return to your vehicle by the same route you skied-in on. The best (safest) route trends on lookers left through mostly open sub-alpine forest well away from the runout zones. When it doubt, follow in or as close to the creek as you can. Rae Charles has very similar conditions. This is an opportunity to begin to introduce these skiers to training at altitude. (3). Your choice will depend on weather/stability, etc..If you want to ski the terrain back down Robertson, you may consider skiing the counter-clockwise direction so you can scope out potential descents as you head in. Once you reach the trees, it’s a good idea to skin up, if you haven’t already done so. The tour of the Haig Glacier involves a 90-minute loop that begins as you head west into the Rocky Mountains, a truly amazing view in itself. To carry on to the Burstall Pass area, continue directly west following the marked trail. One of the true classic ski tours in Kananaskis Park is the French – Haig – Robertson tour. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-mobile-leaderboard-1','ezslot_16',173,'0','0']));The col affords good views of the ascent towards Hero Knob and the descent down the NW face is great but starts with a steep & committing slope.
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