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Qua Peak Circumnavigation

A fabulous journey culminating in a long descent

Ski Touring Difficult

8.6 km
1.1 km
1.1 km
4-5 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2.2 km
Qua Peak Circumnavigation Map

This is a really logical route around (and up) a beautiful peak in the heart of the Kootenays. If conditions are stable you'll ski fantastic runs on all aspects and the day culminates with the long descent down to Qua Lake. As with many peaks around the Ymir Lodge there's some discrepancy regarding the name of today's peak, but it's labelled as "Qua Peak" on the Lodge's printed map and doesn't have a name on online maps (including ours) so we'll stick with Qua Peak.


The day starts with a trip into the ever-enjoyable Morning Glory Bowl. The line we've drawn here will take you to the highest accessible point of the bowl (the higher sections are blocked by huge cornices) and sends you down the huge broad gully on skier's left of the face.

From the foot of Morning Glory Bowl, make the steep tree-d ascent to Clearwater Col, due west of Wildhorse Peak. From here a beautiful, mellow ascent leads to the summit of Qua Peak, from where you can enjoy a commanding view across the increasingly remote mountains which stretch off into the distance.

Make a fun and fast descent, gradually drifting rightwards into the bowl due south of Qua Peak. Put skins back on and ascent up to a ridge which is usually lined with cornices, but has a cornice-free gap in its middle. Cross the ridge and traverse across the bowl directly to the ridge from where you start the final descent. You can ski into the bowl and then climb back up to the ridge, but the terrain isn't amazing so most people tend to save themselves a bit of energy and cut straight across to the ridge.

Once on the ridge you'll find yourself above a handful of trees on a steep slope - piece your way through them to reach much mellower terrain and a fabulous gully system which leads all the way down to Qua Lake.

Look back up at your handiwork painted on the bowl above and then skin back up to the lodge for a sauna!



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between January and April


  • Bowl
  • Alpine
  • Tree Skiing
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area