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Catamount Peak East Face

Glacier National Park (Canada)

An absolutely massive face of sustained 40-50° skiing that lasts for more than 400m

Ski Touring Severe

19 km
2.1 km
2.1 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
2.6 km
Catamount Peak East Face Map

For a deeper dive into the route and some detailed terrain photos, check out the post on Beyond Our Peak: https://beyondourpeak.com/catamount-peak-east-face-all-time-descent/


The east face of Catamount Peak is a Rogers Pass steep skiing classic located in the remote Cougar Valley. The massive face offers a sustained 40-50° descent that lasts for more than 400m. Don't let those numbers intimidate you, it looks a hell of a lot steeper than it actually is when seen from the top.

The route starts at the Rogers Pass Discovery Center with a mellow tour along Connaught Creek towards Balu Pass. After crossing a few hazardous avalanche paths, tour up the 30-degree slope to Balu Pass. From there, ski down the convoluted system of gullies to Cougar Creek. Meander for a little while along Cougar Creek until you reach the foot of the Catamount South Bowl. Ascend the rolly-polly terrain up ahead and gain Catamount Pass. You'll get a pretty good vantage point of the Ursus Valley and the massive Cougar Mountain. Strap on your boot crampons and ascend the Catamount East Ridge, usually very windswept and faceted. After a little effort, you'll reach the summit of Catamount Peak, usually a corniced knife-edge, and look down at Ursus Creek and Cougar Creek. In the distance to the south, you'll find the Asulkan and Illecillewaet Glaciers.

You'll ski down a massive east face with a maximum incline of 50 degrees at the top. It's a beautiful 400m descent into an alpine bowl. Mind the glide cracks on the way down. At around 2050m, you can try to cut east towards Balu Pass, crossing many large avalanche paths along the way. Keep in mind the hazards at play. Otherwise, ski down to the valley bottom and tour back up Balu Pass through one of the gullies.



Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between January and April


  • Bowl
  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area