Mount Temple’s Aemmer Couloir

On 11 April 2018, Zack, Angelo and I, feeling pretty tired from skiing Mount Fisher and with little sleep, woke up before dawn to ski a classic couloir in the rockies, the Aemmer Couloir, located just outside of Lake Louise, Alberta. In fact, it’s such a classic that it appears in the 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America book.

View of Aemmer Couloir from Lake Louise town

Unfortunately, the small mountain in front (Little Temple mountain) blocks the view of the entire couloir from town. Here’s the full view taken from a great blog-site explor8ion .

Aemmer Couloir on Mount Temple – Photo credit: explor8ion
Aemmer Couloir on Mount Temple – Photo credit: explor8ion

There is quite a long skin into the base of the couloir, but once at the base of the couloir, it’s a straight boot pack from the bottom. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, we found winter powder snow in the couloir; this meant that the boot pack up the couloir was deep and exhausting, especially with our tired bodies from the day prior.

Zack nearing the bottom of the couloir
Zack, swimming up the couloir, Angelo not doing much better on second

But eventually, we did make the top of the couloir and all there was to do was to ride down it, being aware of the large amount of sloughing that any steep-powder filled couloir produces.

Zach dropping in to Aemmer
Zach riding Aemmer
Angelo dropping into the top of Aemmer
Angelo – Pow turns near the top of Aemmer
Angelo – Powder in the upper couloir

An easier than expected ski back to the carpark in ski tour mode without skins ended our day. But, the day did take much longer than we thought – coming in at 10hours and 45 minutes.

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