Some of the best couloirs in the Fernie area! Expect to take approximately 2 hours to approach from Tunnel Creek Hut to the top of the first couloir.
Map of the McDermid Basin above, with our chosen route for the day in purple. We started from the parking lot and up to Tunnel Creek Hut. From the Hut, head west below Planetary Peak to the pass leading to McDermott Hut (spelled differently for some reason) at 49°20.902′, -115°04.677′. From the pass, skin SW up to Racecar Rock Ridge. Then, traverse west for 1.5km passed 3 chutes, that also offer good skiing, to the top of the first couloir, Pinner (if you know what any of the couloirs are called please leave a comment below). We opted to skip this couloir because it was a bit butt-puckering for me. The next couloir, Bonus, is an excellent 45-50 degree, 200m run with some tight skiing. After descending this, we bootpacked and skied the next couloir, Hidden. Hidden Couloir can be approached easily from the top if you wish and is a mellower 40 degree, 300m run. We exited Mondo Chute (45 degree, 200m with a bit of a cliff drop) off Racecar Rock Ridge for our exit back to the car.
The entrance to Pinner, above, at around 49°20.941′, -115°05.620′. This couloir starts off wide and mellow, but quickly steepens and tightens to the point where you gotta straight-line-er.
View of Pinner Couloir from below, showing the pinch point.
View from the top of the Bonus Couloir at 49°20.978′, -115°05.700′. Super fun, 45-50 degree skiing. I call it “Bonus” because I had no idea it existed until we walked on top of it, but let me know if it’s actually called something.
View of Bonus Couloir from the bottom. Really cool rock formations here. After skiing the fan down for a bit, we traversed over to Hidden Couloir.
Bootpacking up Hidden Couloir.
The top of Hidden Couloir can be easily reached from the top along Racecar Rock Ridge, and is located at 49°21.061′, -115°05.827′. I call it “Hidden” because the cool knife-edge cliff on the skier’s right hides the line from being seen unless you’re right on it.
On our way out we skinned back up Racecar Rock Ridge and skied Mondo Chute, pictured above, back towards the Hut. A small cliff jump was needed at this time of year, but it fills in towards the Spring. The entrance to this chute is at 49°20.717′, -115°04.795′. An easier line can be skied on the looker’s right.