Stepping It Up : Canmore Intermediate Ski Tours

So you've served your Canmore apprenticeship and want to push into tougher terrain - here are 4 suggestions of how to do it!

Kylee Toth Ohler


The view looking down the run, this is the safer treed descent option

View of Super Slope from Commonwealth loop exit

The view of the Fist before dropping left into Superslope

The ridge above Tryst chutes before dropping left to superslope

The start of the Trail Kylee Toth

by Kylee Toth

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Mount Birdwood, Pigs Tail, Commonwealth Kylee Toth

by Kylee Toth

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Heading back after descending from the Birdwood/Smuts Col Kylee Toth

by Kylee Toth

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Heading up to the Pass Kylee Toth

by Kylee Toth

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Approaching the Commonwealth Col before your transition to descent

Skiing some lovely powder on the descent

A look up the extreme line the Common Wealth Couloir which can been seen from the Col where you transition to ski down below Pigs Tail

Heading to your approach to the Commonwealth Col

The ridge toward the Descent Col

Heading toward the descent

Such an aesthetic route and view looking toward your descent


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!


Smuts Pass

This is a very aesthetic route to an expansive pass with lovely views.

Commonwealth Loop

This is a beautiful traverse style loop with a fun descent and great views