Exploring the legendary Illecillewaet


7 - 8









FATMAP difficulty grade



Illecillewaet (derived from the Sinixt sʔixwʔitw word, meaning big water, pronounced sill-wha-eet-kwe in Sinixt) glacier is a water source that begins in Glacier National Park and flows down as the Illecillewaet River to meet the Columbia River at the heart of Revelstoke. This ski tour leads you up from the Illecillewaet / Asulkan parking to the 'Great Glacier' hike , through the moraines and up to the Illecillewaet Glacier.

It is the beginning of many classic ascents and descents in Rogers Pass including the Young's Peak Traverse. Depending on the season and snowpack there are several routes up to the Illecillewaet Glacier, this one is usually filled in by February.

Earlier in the season the moraines are passable but require some problem solving on the way up. As you ascend the moraines you will be able to look at other north-facing ski routes off Glacier Crest including Dagoba Trees and Lookout Col (climber's right). The final ascent of the glacier can be done in several ways, the ascent shown here avoids the toe of the glacier but requires a good snowpack.

In early season you can expect to find big holes. Before setting out check the Rogers Pass winter permit closures, make sure you have your Parks Canada car pass and check Avalanche Canada for conditions and forecasts!