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Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek

Glacier National Park

Central Columbia Mountains, British Columbia

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Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek

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  • Heading up under the gully beneath Hospital Bowl. - Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Heading Up Connaught Creek.- Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Grizzly Peak in the distance. - Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Heading up into the alpine. - Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Heading up the ridge.- Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Taking shelter for a snack.- Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Poor quality, hardpack snow meant the final section had to be bootpacked.- Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Walking along the ridge to Balu Pass.- Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Rogers Pass often has cloudy weather coming in and out through most of the season. - Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Booting up the final section to the ridge. - Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Transitions on the ridge in deteriorating conditions. - Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Coming down the lower section of the bowl. - Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Contemplating the line of descent.- Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
  • Looking up at Balu Pass.- Bruins Pass via Connaught Creek
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Quick day. Simple terrain. Get into alpine with little effort.
Cons: 
Most of the elevation gained is gentle. Runs are less than 200 meters in length.
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Region:
Central Columbia Mountains, BC
Access: 
Vehicle
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Site characteristics: Drinking water: 
Snowmelt
Highest point: 
2,490.00 m (8,169.29 ft)
Max slope angle: 
15-30 degrees
One-way approach distance: 
6.60 km (4.10 mi)
Year round: 
No
Open from: 
December 01 to April 01
Parking Pass: 
National or state forest pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter
Primary aspect: 
South facing
Route Characteristics: Terrain type(s): 
Bowls
Shuttle required: 
No
Total Distance: 
12.12 km (7.53 mi)
Total elevation gain: 
1,340.00 m (4,396.33 ft)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,325.00 m (4,347.11 ft)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Vertical descent: 
1,340.00 m (4,396.33 ft)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Bruins Pass is a shorter day by Rogers Pass standards. Being in the Connaught Valley, it can get pretty popular, though conditions for the route can be mixed. To get to Bruins Pass, start at the Discovery Center. 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 passing behind the old Glacier Lodge, through scrub, and behind the radio tower. A short road heads up the creek, eventually crossing a bridge, over rolling terrain above the creek. Keep with this for a few hundred metres before the skin track breaks out into the Connaught Valley. From here it's an easy skin that gently ascending 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. Through the trees adjacent to Hospital Gully sits Hospital Knob. From here, traversing due west to gain Bruins Ridge is a good option. The slope is very steep, so while the route is short, be sure to watch out for avalanches here. Be wary of where the wind has been coming from, and take group management precautions. 

From here it's a easy shot gently up the ridge. You'll pass short cliff just beneath the narrowing ridge as it approaches the pass. Depending on the snow cover and conditions you can either skin this or bootpack it to the pass. A gendarme sits on the ridge, so you'll need to drop down into the gulley to gain the ridge proper. Beware as this is where there is the highest risk for slides in the whole day. The snow here is very different from the wind-exposed ridge, so it can be tricky to assess from a distance. It's steep enough to slide, so beware, especially with the storm snow that makes this route worth skiing. Be aware of the forecast, historical wind direction, and be responsible. 

As always, this route changes based on conditions. 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.

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)

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