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Balu Pass via Connaught Creek

Glacer National Park

Central Columbia Mountains, British Columbia

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Balu Pass via Connaught Creek

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  • Crosing Connaught Creek.- Balu Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Heading up Connaught Creek with Balu Pass in the distance.- Balu Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Scoping lies near the pass.- Balu Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Skiing down Bruins Pass.- Balu Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Shredding Balu Pass.- Balu Pass via Connaught Creek
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Short and sweet yo-yo skiing. Simple avalanche terrain.
Cons: 
Gentle terrain. Not much great skiing. South facing. Bad in flat light.
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Region:
Central Columbia Mountains, BC
Access: 
Vehicle
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Site characteristics: Drinking water: 
Snowmelt
Highest point: 
2,105.00 m (6,906.17 ft)
Max slope angle: 
15-30 degrees
Year round: 
No
Open from: 
November 02 to April 30
Parking Pass: 
National or state forest pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Primary aspect: 
South facing
Route Characteristics: Terrain type(s): 
Bowls
Shuttle required: 
No
Total Distance: 
13.11 km (8.15 mi)
Total elevation gain: 
1,080.00 m (3,543.31 ft)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,325.00 m (4,347.11 ft)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Vertical descent: 
1,080.00 m (3,543.31 ft)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

This is a perfect route for accessing the rolling hills and many runs around Balu Pass in Glacier National Park. To get to the north bowl, start at the Discovery Center and follow Connaught Creek to Balu Pass. The route is well past the restricted zones, so you won't need to pick up a restricted permit. However, if you don't have the annual restricted permit pass, it's a good idea to check in and make sure the Grizzly Shoulder and Ursus are open just in case you change plans. It's also helpful to know if and when there is blasting happening. 

The route leaves from the northern corner of the parking lot and passes behind the old Glacier Lodge, through scrub, and behind the radio tower. A short road heads up the creek, eventually crosses a bridge, and continues over rolling terrain above the creek. Keep with this for a few hundred meters before the skin track breaks out into the Connaught Valley. From here it's an easy skin that gently ascends the valley. You'll pass by Grizzly Bowl run out, Teddy Bear Trees, Frequent Flyers Gulley, Dispatch Bowl run out, Ursus Trees, then Hospital Gulley. From here it's strait into the gentle rolling slopes of Balu Pass. Spend a moment here scoping your lines. There are multiple opens over rolling hills that offer some excellent quick yo-yo turns.

As always, this route changes based on conditions. Being a north-facing bowl, it's popular as things heat up later in March and April. On the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale this area is rated Complex, and an Avalanche Skills Training 2 should be considered the minimum required experience to ski this route. Parks Canada Provides a good overview of the Connaught Valley that is worth looking over.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
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Who's Done It
1 Members
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Pro Contributor
104 Adventures Explored
35 Adventures Published

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