The north bowl of Mount Cheops is a quick and easy jaunt from the visitor center at the Rogers Pass Summit. This low-commitment line delivers excellent skiing with a terrefic long run out. This line is so short people frequently ride it, then bootpack the STS Couloir and another couloire in a day. Starting early is recommended as the route gets tracked out quickly.
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. If you don't have the annual restricted permit pass, however, 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 on the northern corner of the parking lot and passes behind the old Glacier Lodge, through scrub, and behind the radio tour. A short road heads up the creek and eventually crosses a bridge before continuing 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 skintrack that gently ascends the valley. You'll pass by Grizzly Bowl runout, Teddy Bear Trees, Frequent Flyers Gulley, Dispatch Bowl runout, Ursus Trees, and then Hospital Gulley.
From here it's strait into the gentle rolling slopes of Balu Pass. Once at the pass you take a sharp turn back east and head up the flanks of Mount Cheops. This section can get tricky, and ski crampons can be nice to have as the southwest facing shoulder gets hammered by sun and wind. Despite the trees, wind slabs can form, and the terrain is steep. Take precautions here. Be aware of current conditions and of past accidents.
The shoulder levels out and a small prow sits above the drop section. This 50-meter convex roll into the route is the most serious section as it quickly becomes quite steep. The prow makes for a good spot to observe your partners skiing down in safety and is also good for photos.
The slope of the steep section ranges from 31 to 35 degrees, and it becomes quite gentle after about 200 meters. From here the bowl opens up. A steep cliff in the middle forces you to either the skier's right into another steeper section with a good runout or to the left down gentler but longer slopes underneath STS Couloir that exit via a wide fan. You get more turns coming out on the fan, but they are less steep...not more than 25 degrees. From here it's a straight shot down the valley whence you came.
As ever, 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.
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.