So you've served your Canmore apprenticeship and want to push into tougher terrain - here are 4 suggestions of how to do it!
If you're into ski tours with absolutely breathtaking views, this area is for you. From dramatic ridges to impressive cols, the intermediate ski tours in Kananaskis don’t disappoint. Some of the tours in this guidebook focus more on fun descents while others lean toward a conventional traverse-style tour. Regardless of the objective you pick you will want to be well versed in avalanche safety and backcountry practices to attempt these adventures.
For those who love a good descent, heading to Mount Murray (Hero’s Knob) or Super Slope will be high on your to-do list. Both of these ski tours afford you awesome 500-600 metre open bowl descents which - hit on a powder day - will leave you grinning ear to ear. Both tours travel through complex avalanche terrain and you will only want to attempt them under stable conditions. Hero Knob requires some technical skinning to reach the Col without a lot of switchbacking so you will want to have your kick turns mastered before you head here. It is best to ski both of these descents one at a time to a safe zone. Both routes have impressive views and the type 1 fun will probably make you want to do a lap or two!
For those who prefer more traverse-style scenic loops or a more mountaineering feel you will want to check out the Commonwealth loop and Smuts Pass. Both of these tours take you to very high cols with beautiful views and require route finding and some slightly technical scrambling, depending on the amount of snow. The skiing on both of these routes is mellower but still a lot of fun. These are both good full day tours for most and a great day with some perfect places for a scenic lunch spot view.
The intermediate ski tours in Kananaskis/Canmore should not be taken lightly as this area has a complex snow pack. Be sure to check local avalanche forecasts and weather reports before venturing out into the backcountry.
When you get there, be ready for a good time!