Dawson range camping

On April 18 through to the 20th, I went with Angelo and Zack and Zack’s friends from Revelstoke, Andrew and Adam, to attempt to ski some stuff in the Dawson range, which is behind the popular Asulkan/Illecillewaet area of Rogers Pass. This trip was a bit of a killer for me… Andrew, Adam and Zack managed to blow me out of the water in relation to distance and speed. They were doing 3000 vertical metre days at a pace where I simply couldn’t keep up. I haven’t felt this much of a liability for many years…

The group far ahead, heading to the Asulkan col
Even Angelo had difficulty keeping up with the other boys
Adam and Andrew at the Asulkan Col; Dawson range in the background

After reading the Asulkan col, we dropped off the back and away from any crowds that frequent the area and skied down to the Incomapplaux river. The snow on this south facing terrain was super-heavy and we had to watch out for loose-wet avalanches from our tracks building to large proportions!

The asulkan col and the terrain down to the incomapplaux river
Angelo at the Incomapplaux river

We ascended up the north side of the valley towards the Dawson glacier and made camp on top of the old moraine wall below Mount Donkin. Angelo and I built a snow trench/cave shelter whilst Adam and Andrew threw up their tent. Not much waiting around as the boys decided to have an afternoon summit attempt on Mount Donkin. They made it to the top, but after a good amount more than 2000 vertical metres, most of which with a multi-day pack, I just couldn’t keep up and I topped out on the ridge below the summit.

Zack and the boys skinning towards Donkin
The summit of Donkin and the boys climbing up
The summit of Donkin and the boys climbing up
Andrew dropping in from the summit
Andrew triggering a small slab
Andrew skiing out the powder apron
Adam boarding down Donkin

We skied back down to camp and had an early night. Waking up early the next morning, we ascended up Michelle peak on the Dawson massif and skied great powder back through the icefall to the Dawson glacier.

Michelle Peak and the icefall
Gaining Michelle Peak ridgeline
Ridgewalk to Michelle Peak
Scramble to the summit

After the descent through the icefall back to the main Dawson glacier in the valley, I left the boys for their afternoon mission, where they climbed an additional 1100 vertical meters to the summit of Fuez peak on the Dawson massif. Here they skied a really awesome line back to the glacier. I was quite jealous of the achievement but I simply couldn’t keep up with the pace of these guys…

The boys route up Fuez

The next day, we ascended up the shoulder of Mount Fox and skied the north face of the shoulder down to below the Geikie Glacier, which we eventually gained and proceeded up to the top of the Forever Young couloir, which is a classic couloir in Rogers Pass and a nice way to end a traverse.

Glacier travel on the Geikie glacier with Angelo
Forever Young Couloir – Photo credit -Stewart Spooner – https://kootenayskier.wordpress.com