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Fernie Ski Touring Maps Updated Feb. 2020

Fernie backcountry skiing map

Hey folks, I really hope you enjoy the maps.

Fernie Overview Ski Tours 02-19-20

Thunder Meadows & FAR Ski Tours 02-21-20

Tunnel Creek Ski Tours 02-19-20

Harvey Pass Touring Map 11-29-19

I use Avenza on my phone to bring maps with me.

Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for anything. The above are merely arbitrary lines on a map with no absolutely no meaning whatsoever and are for my personal use only.

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16.6 Slidepath

A classic Fernie big line. Save for a late season stable day with good snow to get the most out of this 1000+m run. These slidepaths are occasionally controlled with explosives. Check drivebc.ca for updates.

Overview

googleearth

A Start Tunnel Parking: 49°20'36.92"N, 115° 0'49.96"W
B North Tunnel Branch: 49°20'45.27"N, 115° 1'27.56"W
C North Tunnel Trail Start:  49°21'17.10"N, 115° 1'40.92"W
D North Tunnel Trail End:  49°21'23.84"N, 115° 2'11.67"W
E North Tunnel Saddle:  49°21'59.36"N, 115° 2'58.33"W
F 1942 Chutes:  49°21'37.58"N, 115° 3'7.64"W
G 16.6 Slidepath Top:  49°22'23.29"N, 115° 2'49.03"W
H 16.6 Slidepath Bottom:  49°22'56.77"N, 115° 1'15.18"W
I Morrissey Road:  49°23'27.18"N, 115° 1'21.22"W

Our route for the day shown above. We parked a second vehicle at the Morrissey Road (I) for the end of the day, but you could probably hitchhike back to the Tunnel area (A) if needed. Starting from Tunnel parking (A), skin up the road to the North Tunnel branch (B) and cross the creek. After approximately 20 minutes of skinning up the North Tunnel road, crossing a couple of small creeks along the way, look for a strip of pink flagging at location C. This flagging marks the start of a trail leading into North Tunnel. After following the trail to the end (D), you will be greeted with views of 1942 chutes on the left, and the North Tunnel Slidepaths on the right (descending from a high point at 2093m). We chose to get a quick lap of the 1942 chutes (F) before skinning up to 2093 and descending down the NE-facing 16.6 Slidepath (G). From the end of the North Tunnel trail (D), skin up towards the saddle (E), trending slightly towards your chosen objectives for the day when safe to do so.

The 16.6 Slidepath offers a fantastic ~1100m run down to highway 3. In the right conditions, there will be no bushwacking required if the slidepath has had a chance to cover the alders with debris. You can scout the slidepaths beforehand from the Lower Morrissey FSR. From the bottom of the 16.6 Slidepath (H), walk or skin towards your second vehicle on the Morrissey Road (I) or hitchhike back to the Tunnel pakring area (A).

Detail

16 6 high level

A view of the slidepaths, above, from the train tracks past the Morrissey Bridge. The 17.7 slidepath can be done in certain conditions, but there are many cliffs to contend with. The “Cisco” slidepath appears to be more of a bushwack at the bottom through private property to reach the highway. On this day, the 16.6 slidepath offered us a straight shot down to the highway with no bushwacking (icy avy debris at bottom).

16 6 zoom

A closeup of our route, in red above. I stuck to the main guts of the slidepath to avoid cliffs on either side. The top of the slidepath is a 35-40* slope and mellows out substantially mid-way down (~25*). Overall, a great day.

Stats

16 6 stats

Maps found here.

Drinkwater

Map

map

Named after a series of decommissioned logging roads on Mt. Broadwood’s NE flank, the Drinkwater area offers some obscure ski touring opportunities for those who like to go where few, if any, have skied before. There are 2 parking areas that can be used to access Drinkwater Trees and Slidepath. The first and best option is a pullout near the 20km mark on the Lodgepole FSR (radio freq. RR2). If, for whatever reason, the Lodgepole parking is not available, you can try parking near the 15km mark on the River FSR but expect to add an hour of skinning.
Trip Report

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Starting from the 20km pullout on the Lodgepole FSR, above. There are 2 pullouts at this km, but the second one is bigger with more than enough room for other vehicles. Behind the truck on the left is the beginning of the old logging road we used to gain elevation.

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In the first 5 minutes of skinning, the old logging road crosses a small creek, above. The creek is small but it’s quite steep on either side. This is the only difficulty we encountered on the way up.

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The logging road system on this flank of Mt. Broadwood can be confusing, with multiple, unmarked spur roads like the one above. A map is quite handy for this tour.

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Lots of nice camping spots along the way!

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The photo above shows the main Drinkwater ski area, with the NE facing slidepath seen in the middle, and some short tree skiing on the SE face off the summit (on the other side of the left ridge). The ridge on the left provided easy and safe access.

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Above is a photo taken while skinning up the ridge. The trees were tight but bushwacking was minimal.

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Looking south from the ridge towards some chutes that could be skied if you wish! I doubt anyone has skied them.

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Looking north from the ridge towards some more interesting terrain.

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After about an hour of uneventful skinning up the ridge you will come across a large gully at ~1880m. Working your way over to the left and back up the ridge will take you to a high point at 49.3266, -114.9754. From this high point, you can ski down some SE-facing trees for a couple hundred meters. If the snow is stable and you want to ski the Drinkwater Slidepath, then descend into the gulley and traverse NW (right) underneath the cliffs until you reach the slidepath. Or do both!

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Drinkwater tree skiing from the high-point shown above. Nice, easy, and mellow.

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After descending into the aforementioned gully and traversing NW below the cliffs you will some across the above slidepath.

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Looking down the slidepath. A fun 400m run.

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About half way down the slidepath you will encounter the above terrain trap (a small cliff). Stay skier’s left in the trees if you are looking for a safer route down.

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The slidepath run out continues down and meets up with yet another old logging road (with some bushwacking through regen at the bottom). Hang a right on this road to bring you back to your skin track.
Stats

stats

The above stats include skiing both the trees and the slidepath.