4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
The north face of Mt Chief Pascal is an excellent mid winter ski tour located on Duffey Lake Road.
It offers probably the best ratio of skinning to skiing in the area, with long descents in a large alpine bowl.
You can access the trailhead by parking in a large pullout on the south side of highway 99, approximately 30km east of Pemberton, BC.
As with most classic coastal ski tours, this route begins with skinning through the forest until you find a deactivated service road.
Take a left onto the road and follow it briefly to a junction where you want to take the right fork.
Continue on the road until around 1400m where you will break off and head south east, ascending steepening forested slopes.
After gaining another 250m vertical, begin to trend more south, then south west, making your way up up towards the tree line.
Once above 1750m the trees begin to thin out and you can continue south west up a broad shoulder until you emerge on the north west ridge of Mt Chief Pascal.
If conditions are not conducive to skiing the steeper alpine terrain nearer the summit, you may choose to transition at this point.
From here you can ski a few laps on the mellow slopes to the north east before heading back down to the road.
These slopes offer sparse trees for visibility and generally hold good snow.
To access the Equinox slide path, continue skinning on the south side of the ridge, navigating a few minor terrain features and steep sections.
This is the most aesthetic section of the climb, with stunning views of Joffre Peak's intimidating north face to the south.
You have multiple drop-in points between 2000m and 2100m along the ridge.
The skiing is incredible, starting on wide open 35 degree slopes that gradually mellow out as you approach the tree line.
After about 400m vertical, continue to descend north east, following the slide path.
As you approach the dense forrest the terrain changes, with featured creeks, pillows and some sparse young trees.
Eventually you will be funnelled down towards a steep-sided gully that you will have to cross at around 1400m elevation.
Once on the other side you can continue to ski through very dense foliage trending north west until you pick up another deactivated service road and an open cut block.
Continue down until you hit a wider, clear road at 1280m.
Put on skins and head west for a couple of kilometres until you regain your up-track, which you can then follow back to the car.