Max slope angle
15-30 Degrees
Primary aspect
South facing
Vertical descent
1,080.00 m (3,543.31 ft)
Distance
13.11 km (8.15 mi)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National or state forest pass

Open Year-round

No

Open from

November 02 to April 30

Pros

Short and sweet yo-yo skiing. Simple avalanche terrain.

Cons

Gentle terrain. Not much great skiing. South facing. Bad in flat light.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

4,347.11 ft (1,325.00 m)

Highest point

6,906.17 ft (2,105.00 m)

Total elevation gain

3,543.31 ft (1,080.00 m)

Features

Old-growth forest
Flushing toilets

Trail type

Loop

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Shuttle required

No

Terrain type

Bowls

Drinking water

Snowmelt

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Central Columbia Mountains, British Columbia

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.