Classic coastal couloir in a wild setting

Statistics

6 - 7

hrs

1,247

m

1,247

m

51

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Severe

Description

The name of this line speaks for itself.

A coastal ski mountaineering classic, Million Dollar Couloir requires significant glacier travel, route finding, fitness and steep skiing ability.

It is a very rewarding descent in a beautiful, rugged location.

The trailhead is located on the North side of Duffey Lake Road, approximately 30km East of Pemberton, BC.

After the initial service road slog you will be ascending the Ottoman slide path.

This is a well defined avalanche path and should only be crossed in stable conditions.

Once you exit the tree line and head up towards the Armchair Glacier there are numerous avalanche prone slopes, including a moraine feature.

The Armchair glacier itself is relatively low angle and you have many ascent options, the simplest of which is to punch straight up the centre.

As you approach the col between the Armchair and North Cayoosh glaciers you will have to cross a steep slope.

This feature can be very firm and may require ski crampons. After a short ski down the right flank of the North Glacier you will see the ridge.

Boot crampons will likely be required to safely traverse the ridge, which is roughly 50m long.

You may also wish to protect yourself by roping up depending on the snow conditions.

The couloir itself is over 40 degrees in places and the entrance slope is prone to wind loading.

The skiing is incredible, with a 600m descent that funnels you down through the couloir and out into the valley below.

Looking up at the tracks you just made with the back drop of the jagged, broken North Cayoosh Glacier alongside will surely make the challenging ascent feel more than worth the effort. Whilst exiting the drainage down towards Cayoosh creek and back to the road, you will still be exposed to significant overhead hazard.

The steep 'Rock n Roll' chutes above on your left hand side are well defined avalanche paths and should only be passed in stable conditions.

Once back on the service road you can simply re-trace your skin track back to the highway.

Note; Despite the exposure of the ski line itself being fairly limited, I have classified the route as 'High Exposure' due to the consequences of a fall during the final ridge traverse.