An epic journey around a wild peak which takes in some exceptional tree skiing


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FATMAP difficulty grade



This is one of the biggest journeys you can make from the Ymir Lodge, and - if you like huge scenery and beautiful skiing - it's a must-do.

And if you don't like those 2 things then a ski touring trip probably isn't for you! As you'll be able to tell from the line drawn here, the day can be shortened considerably by not detouring up each bowl and instead simply crossing between them, but taking all the extra bits shown really does provide some exceptional skiing, and you'd be missing out by not taking the detours.

Unless you're the first group into the lodge for the season or arrive immediately after a big snowfall, there should be a skin track already set from the previous team to the summit of the first peak.

If there isn't, climb gradually westwards from the lodge to reach the peak's west ridge.

Follow this (sticking just to the right of the crest so as to avoid the large cornices to the north) all the way to the summit.

Like many of the peaks around the Ymir lodge, there is some discrepancy between the official name shown on maps, and the name given to this peak on the lodge's own printed map.

The map in the lodge refers to this as South Seeman Peak, but our map (and most others online) refer to it as South Qua Peak. Regardless of its name (!) ski north-east down an exposed ridge which leads from the summit into a huge open bowl known locally as Camelot Bowl.

The bowl can be skied just about anywhere, and gradually funnels you rightwards as you descend.

Without wishing to state the obvious - the lower down you ski, the longer your climb out will be! When you do begin ascending you're aiming for the obvious col between the 2 summits which loom over Camelot Bowl.

The final section of the ascent is steep, and the drop off the far side is even steeper! The initial 10 metres or so kicks up to 40 degrees-ish, but it quickly mellows and gives way to a gorgeous open slope and some fabulous tree skiing below.

Ski down to a flat bench and put skins back on to make the ascending traverse into the dramatic valley south-west of North Qua/Kututle Peak.

(Like most of the summits around, its name on FATMAP (and all other online maps) differs from the paper map in the Ymir Lodge.) Climb as high up the bowl as you want and then descend one of the many beautiful gullies which wind down to the valley floor.

Put skins on once more and climb up beneath Qua/Kututle Peak's intimidating rocky west face to reach an open slope immediately north of the mountain's summit.

Cross the slope (which is breathtakingly scenic) and swing around into the bowl east of the summit.

Ski down this via some incredible and steep tree skiing and then climb out of the bowl and drop down through perfectly spaced trees which lead you down to Seeman Creek. As you'll see from our line, you have the option here to swing around and make the final ascent back to the Ymir Lodge, but you'd be missing an exceptional steep descent if you bailed here! Assuming you've got something left in your legs, climb up Seeman Creek onto a sloping bench above a steep patch of trees.

Rip skins and head down through the trees via some 40 degree terrain. Once back at Seeman Creek, ski down through forests to reach a small lake.

Put skins on for the final time, cross the lake and make the long ascending traverse back to the col above the lodge.

Soak in the view one last time and cruise down for a sauna, a drink and a massive feed!