5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
For a deeper dive into the route and detailed terrain photos, check out the post on Beyond Our Peak: https://beyondourpeak.com/cougar-creek-west-rogers-pass-one-for-the-books/ Accessed through a SE-facing couloir nestled between Ross Peak (2331m) and Mt Green (2692m), Cougar Creek West takes you 1400m down the exposed, rocky north face.
It's a committing route that circumnavigated Ross Peak, the distinct "thumbs up" sticking out of the Green Sub-range.
What a treat of a ski-mountaineering line! From the Loop Brook parking lot, tour along the creek heading south, past the Elephant Trunk and quickly gain the base of the Bonney Moraines.
There's a huge amount of overhead exposure along the creek.
Beware! Then, climb the steep SE face of Ross Peak generally sticking to the trees for cover.
Again, lots of overhead solar exposure here.
Think critical snowpack warming! From the SE bowl, bootpack up one of the Ross Peak SE Couloirs to its highest point at which point you'll reach a rock outcrop on top of the ridge.
The Ross Peak ridge has a couple of very large cornices - take care when approaching the crest.
The entrance to the descent is on the climber's left end where the cornice subsides.
You'll get magnificent views of the highway corridor and the Cougar Valley to the north. The run starts off with a dangerous traverse over a large cliff band, descending into a steep couloir that eventually splits off into a system of convoluted gullies.
A pleasant walk along the CP railroad on the Designated Exit Route returns you to the Loop Brook parking lot.