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Sifton South Couloir

Glacier National Park (Canada)

A "creative” variation on the ski-mountaineering classic

Ski Touring Severe

9.7 km
1.6 km
1.6 km
6-7 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
2.8 km
Sifton South Couloir Map

For a deeper dive into the route and detailed terrain photos, check out the post on Beyond Our Peak: https://beyondourpeak.com/sifton-south-couloir-risky-plan-c/


The Sifton South Couloir, or rather our “creative” variation on the ski-mountaineering classic, is a hell of a spicy line. To say the truth, it was our backup of backups, our plan C, after an ultra-exposed scramble ground our progress to a halt. While we opted to ascend the west ridge of Mt Sifton – conquered in 2020 through its more technical southeast ridge – an easier option might be to bootpack straight up the south face given good snowpack stability.

Starting at the Hermit Parking Lot, ascend the steep, slippery Hermit Trail until you reach an elevation of approx. 2000m. From there, head NW towards Mt Sifton. Navigate the undulating morainal terrain and cross the Sifton Glacier, an otherwise benign pocket glacier which typically doesn't require roping.

After reaching the Sifton/Little Sifton col, scramble along the west ridge to the entrance of the couloir. There are a few options along the way. The further along you go, the more technical the ascent becomes - we only managed 2/3 of the scramble and settled for a sneaky, rocky couloir a hundred meters from the summit. It will all depend on ridge conditions at the time. Also, watch out for cornices which grow on either side of the ridge depending on recent winds.

As for the line itself: if the hidden rocks don’t destroy your bases on the way down, the occasional ice and power-sluff might send you barreling down the couloir. Its steep incline (upwards of 50 degrees) is not to be trifled with. As you might have realized, the entire couloir is a no-fall zone. Hanging over a serious cliff band, you either ski the line flawlessly, or you don’t make it. A tumble here would most likely be fatal…

After exiting the couloir, ski down the Grizzly West Bowl, hitting the money pillow lines once at treeline. y preferred exit is through the Puff Daddy line to the west.



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


  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area