FATMAP difficulty grade
While the runs are fairly short, Red Heather has a lot to offer beginner ski tourers.
Getting to the trail head follows the Diamond Head road to Garabaldi.
Follow signs from Highway 99 up to Quest University.
It's recommended to have chains as the road can get pretty gnarly higher up.
The trail is mostly a road through the trees.
Eventually it reaches the Red Heather warming shelter.
This is a good spot to stop for lunch, fix troublesome skins, or patch blisters.
From here is there is no right or wrong way.
You will see many skin tracks, but beware as just because their is a skin track doesn't mean it's the correct route for you.
Sticking to the ridge is your best bet.
While the avalanche risk are generally low there are plenty of short slopes that can still get people in trouble.
Following the line most gentle line to the ridge is the best course.
From there it's fairly straightforward to pick lines off the north or south. A couple tips: - If things look tracked out, keeping heading further along the ridge. - In clear weather the north side is generally better, in cloudy weather the south side has more trees and is easier - Avoid going lower than the freezing level.
- While the terrain is never steeper than a green run, the snow is often heavy and wet with plenty of obstacles.
First Year skiers will struggle.
ACL and MCL injuries are common.