5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
To begin this loop ski tour you park in the back parking lot to the Sunshine Village ski area and start up the trail for Healy Pass.
This trail begins close to the gondola station and you will cross a pedestrian bridge to get on the trail.
You head up the Healy Pass trail for approximately 70 meters.
The Healy pass trail veers hard right into single track - you want to stay on the main wide and machine groomed Sunshine Ski Hill ski out trail.
Continue on the ski out until you see the main Sunshine village day lodge.
You will take a right to the bottom of the Wawa ski lift when the day lodge is in sight.
Head up toward the top of the Wawa lift and head toward the only and obvious ridge on your right.
(Sunshine Village Ski area allows you to tour up on certain runs in their tenure.
The route that I have mapped keeps you in the permitted terrain.) Once you ascend above the Wawa ski lift you are no longer in ski hill or avalanche controlled terrain and you will want to make sure you have proper avalanche safety gear and training.
Once you reach the high point on Wawa ridge you have a few options.
Option one is to descend the way you came and basically retrace your way back to the car - this is the safest way with the least avalanche terrain and easiest skiing.
If you continue and drop down to the left as my route describes this tour moves from beginner toward intermediate.
Once you drop down to your left you will trend hard left to reach the proper descent chutes.
There are a couple options for dropping in.
These are all avalanche slide paths and caution should be used especially when entering them as a lot of the snow loading occurs at the top of these lines.
If avalanche conditions permit you are able to ski an awesome 500 meter straight shot to pick up the Healy pass trail at the bottom of the valley.
The last 75 meters of the descent has a lot of small, new growth trees so be prepared to get a bit sporty, get your goggles on and elbows up.
Once you are on the Healy Pass trail you have a mellow downhill forest track to ski back to your car.
This is an excellent and fun loop with a few options depending on your energy, ski ability and avalanche forecast for the day.