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.
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).
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).
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.