Summiting one of the local classics



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The long way round to summit Mount Macpherson.

This peak offers incredible views of Revelstoke, the Monashee mountains and the Selkirk mountains on a sunny day.

We chose this route on a sunny late spring morning to avoid the E-SE aspect of the peak.

Instead of following the Fingers route (lookers left of the peak) we climbed up on the N side of Burnt Knob.

Park at the Revelstoke Nordic Centre, make sure you pay for parking and if in doubt where to park go and chat to the staff at the hut.

Follow the signs for 'ski touring' and 'the fingers' from outside the Nordic Club Hut.

Stay left on the nordic trails and give way to nordic skiers. Just after mountain climb trail follow the signs over the bridge and onto the old logging road.

You will pass the turn off for the fingers and several descent slide paths.

Continue until the obvious end of the road and start ascending towards Burnt Knob.

Being late April we found lots of bear tracks and were carrying bear spray. Gain Burnt Knob ridge and instead of ascending the top continue SW through the trees to gain the upper treeline ridge.

The route finding is fairly straightforward, however, at approximately 1800-1850m we made an awkward route through some steep cliffs.

There is a more mellow route if you stay low on the spur and wrap around west (climber's right) and follow the gully up or if conditions allow touring or booting up the clearing on climbers left could be possible but there is a lot of overhead.

Around treeline and above the terrain becomes a little convoluted (especially if you have low vis) so make sure you have an idea of where you want to be and watch for overhead hazards such as cornices and steep slopes.

We followed the furthest climber's right bowl as it had the lowest angle climb wrapped right under the N side of the peak before gaining the final ridgeline to the summit. There are several ski options down Mount Macpherson.

We had chosen the west side to ascend as we were concerned about the east faces warming up too much in the sun.

However, there was an option to take a lower route into ‘The Womb’ that offers some great gully skiing fall-line back down towards the valley bottom.

As none of us had skied our ascent route we decided to ski back the way we had come, opting for a few of the direct roly poly rolls at the beginning instead of the long way round.

We were met with great skiing, a hint of ‘powder’ and many “yahooos”.

There are some convex rolls, cornices and steep starts spots that could be very hazardous if wind-loaded, etc.

We skied the first main clearing in the trees back down to Burnt Knob and used the river gully to connect that clearing to the next instead of having to gain the ridge again.

Alternatively you could take a few extra minutes to ski tour up the SE side of Burnt Knob and ski one of the avalanche chutes (a very good option with good snow).

The final descent was mellow with some route finding through the lower trees to gain the old logging road. One of my favourite parts of the descent were slowly sliding down the sunbaked snow of the logging road, singing our favourite songs with the lyrics altered to include “bear” to ward off any unsuspecting furry friends.