Ptarmigan Peak **

Lake Louise backcountry ski touring.

Via Lake Louise ski resort and Ptarmigan’s south slopes. Great corn skiing down a scenic summit, with a few alternatives for the bold.



Park at the Skoki Lodge parking lot at Lake Louise ski resort. An early start is recommended as Ptarmigan’s slopes are south-facing.

Trip Report


The route begins up the Lake Louise ski-out from the Skoki parking lot. The ski-out is starting to get a bit heinous, so get at it while you can! Head towards the Halfway Hut on the way to Skoki Lodge. Temple and Aemmer Couloir behind.


View of Ptarmigan Peak from the Halfway Hut. Our approximate route is in red above on Ptarmigan’s south face. A more exciting descent can be had down Ptarmigan’s south couloir, marked by the yellow arrow. An even more exciting day can be had on the Pika Couloir, marked by the blue arrow above.


Working our way up Ptarmigan’s south face, with a closer view of the south couloir. Not much snow left!


Skinning up the lower slopes of Ptarmigan’s south face. Redoubt on left, with Temple and Victoria in behind Whitehorn and the Lake Louise ski resort. Lower slopes offered nice, mellow corn skiing all the way back down to the valley bottom. No more than 30 degrees steep here.


Angle began to increase as we moved our way up towards the summit, reaching 35-40 degrees at this point. Ski crampons were very helpful. A small slide here would probably send you off cliffs and all the way down to Hidden Lake, so be careful.


On the summit ridge with Ptarmigan Peak’s summit behind. Large cornice beginning to peel off the summit ridge on left. A small, but spicy, down-climb before climbing back up to the summit is required. Apart from the down-climb, the summit ridge is straight forward.


Great corn skiing on the way down! Hidden Lake is seen below.



GPS route above in blue.


A closer look at the GPS track up Ptarmigan’s south face above.


Times and distances are round trip.


Author: SeeThenSki

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