6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
Observation Subpeak (2950 m) is a fine ski peak with a good of variety of skiing.
Several routes exist, the one described here combines a nice ridge ascent with powder turns down the north glacier - probably the best turns on the peak.
Park your car at a suitable spot along the Icefield Parkway.
The initial stretch goes through trees near the creek - and the trees here are tight! As you get higher, stay right of the creek drainage.
As you exit the trees, the terrain gets wider and easier to follow.
Cross the creek to reach the base of the south ridge.
The first section of the ridge is a broad slope - it is not steep, but choose your route wisely, using benches to find a safe and easy route.
Higher up, the ridge becomes narrow, and you will have to put the skis on your back.
The ridge is exposed in places, with steep slopes on the side and cornice hazard.
From the summit, you can ski down the north glacier, an excellent fall-line run! It stops above a cliff at about 2500 m, so you will have to re-ascend back up.
The ridge you came up is not very enjoyable as a ski run.
You can, instead, wrap around the NE side of the peak, and ski down a SE-facing bowl.
The entry to the bowl is a little hard to find - look for it skiers left.
As you reach the bottom of the run, backtrack to the car, roughly following the ascent route but seeking out some fun turns through the trees where you can find them.