Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs…) but only the consequences of the skier falling.
Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.
Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.
High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.
Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.
When it comes to the Gemstone bowls, the farther right you go, the steeper it gets in terms of line selection.
From the top of Spanky's Ladder, take the high right traverse across Garnet Bowl into the top exposed entrance of Sapphire Bowl.
Once you have navigated the tricky entrance and upper section of Sapphire bowl, you have several options in terms of line choice.
From here, if you hang a right you will find the upper bowl dividing into three chutes on the lower portion of the bowl, through old lateral moraines.
These chutes allow you to ski between the two large cliff areas on either side, and drop you off at the Blackcomb Glacier road located at the bottom.
These chutes are steep, tight, fast, and most importantly, really fun! They are all very similar in nature and difficulty.
Now that the exposed entrance is behind you, here is your chance to go fast, rip it up and reap the rewards! Note that the risk of avalanche debris still exists, so continue to be careful.
It is important to note that the Sapphire chutes should only be skied once you have gotten familiar with the neighboring lines in Ruby and Diamond Bowl.
Though rewarding, in order to ski these very challenging lines safely, knowledge of the terrain in this area is required.
In the Gemstone bowls, it is always important to be aware of the serious cliff hazards around you, especially on days when visibility can be a bit more of a challenge.
Only ski in this area on days with sufficient visibility and proper snow conditions for your abilities, and try to work your way right in terms of difficulty to get familiar with the lines.