Dalton Dome West Face
An imposing face on the west side of the Nch'Kay Massif!
Ski Touring Severe
- 1.6 km
- 3 m
- 976 m
- 0-1 hrs
- Low Point
- 1.7 km
- High Point
- 2.6 km
Dalton Dome is the somewhat overlooked sub-summit of Garibaldi Peak on the Nch'Kay Massif above Squamish. It does however have some excellent steep skiing lines for the patient skier looking for an adventure.
The West Face has no simple approach or easy way to reach the top. When I skied it, stability was good enough that I felt confident to climb the line itself. I traversed in from the head of Brohm Ridge and transitioned to crampons on firm sun-affected snow. I climbed to the top with the steepest portion being at the ridge where I found a sneak through the overhanging cornice.
The summit plateau is beautiful and offers amazing views of the other peaks as well as surrounding Garibaldi Park and the Tantalus Range!
I used a rope and self belay to ski back over the lip of the ridged then switched to normal turns once I was established on the face. After the first pitch of steep terrain, you reach lower angle slopes near the glacial snow arete. The angle drops off again down the wide face and you can feel the entire Squamish Valley below your feet. I enjoyed good turns all the way down to the head of the Cheekeye River before climbing back up to Brohm Ridge.
This is a big, imposing face and excellent stability is critical. There's overhead hazard from cornices and it's exposed to big wind from Howe Sound. I found firm conditions with a super-solid bridging crust that gave me confidence in stability. Further, it had just enough ski penetration on top that I wasn't worried about slipping and falling to the bottom. Approach with caution! Keep in mind the aspect and the effect of sun throughout the day.
Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.
Best time to visit
- Ski Mountaineering
- Ice axe
- Glacier kit