3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
For most skiers this will be the last full day on the Bonington traverse and it's a wonderfully wild journey through some gorgeous forests.
The first job is to descend/traverse into the bowl which houses Rush Creek.
The line drawn here shows the most efficient route, but if you wanted to you could get more skiing and then pay the price by reascending later on.
Given the thickness of the trees and the steepness of some of the mini terrain features, most skiers opt to follow the route shown here and maximise efficiency. Once in the Rush Creek bowl, climb steeply up (or just next to) an open gully which leads to a col.
The col has a breathtaking view to the north into the terrain used by Snowater Heliski operation, and you may well see helis flying in the area. Hang a right and follow the spectacular ridge which undulates as it winds eastwards.
Shortly before the ridge turns north and begins dropping away, drop off it to the left and link together some amazing pitches through the trees.
Be careful to hang onto your altitude and, if in doubt, always push right so as not to end up too low down.
The terrain naturally begins to slope down and right towards Erie Creek so keep skiing all the way down to it.
There are a few different spots to cross the creek so if you see one then take advantage and get over - if you start climbing up the skinner's left of the creek and don't cross over you'll soon reach a steep gorge, after which you can't get across! Once over the creek skin up north-east up a long and pleasant slope which leads to the Copper Hut via some increasingly spectacular viewpoints. Although small, the hut is full of character and is the most charming of the Bonington huts.
Like the Steed, it officially sleeps 6 people, but we'd recommend going with no more than 4!