Boom to Paradise Valley traverse

Banff Yoho Kootenay

Mike M , Thursday 25th April, 2024 10:10PM

A relaxed 4 day traverse from Boom Lake to Paradise Valley. Saturday (20th) to Tuesday (23rd). This one has been in the bookmarks since Mark Klassen's 2011 MCR. Thanks Mark (and also Matt R and Marcus B) for the beta! Boom to (south of) Consolation Pass - Poor travel up the last slide path on the east side of the lake. It was partially melted out and the rest was a mix of bulletproof and glob inducing soft snow. Probably should have started earlier. Hot afternoon sunbaking at about 2300m. (south of) Consolation Pass to Moraine Lake - 10ish cm of fresh snow between 5am and 9am, then flurries throughout the morning. Easy skinning to the slope below the pass and then straightforward ascent to the pass. There was 0-100cm snow depth at the pass. Large cornices loomed below the Parks Canada sign at the pass, but with persistent (stubborn) shovelling and scoping, we found a way through. Our planned route (higher to the east) didn't have a cornice, but involved an exposed traverse. We dropped a lot of cornice onto the steep slope below the col and eventually dropped in. Skiing was an awkward version of breakable crust, but it worked and nothing slid. We were able to traverse without skinning all the way to the upper Consolation Lake. The wind picked up and we followed a combination of the creek and summer trail to the Moraine Lake picnic area. The wind was very strong overnight, so we were grateful for a very sheltered camp spot. Moraine Lake to Paradise Valley - Some awkward side hilling along the (very low water level) lake brought us to the end of the lake. We noted that the tree from which the cable across the creek used to access Neil Colgan has snapped. We followed the edge of the moraines to Eiffel Lake. Along the way we noted some reactive, isolated wind slabs on moraine features. We then ascended the gully to Wastach Pass. The 3/4 couloir looks to be in great condition, with a hint of a small runnel in it. The South face of Eiffel goes, if thin. It won't last long I suspect. The ascent to Wastach Pass was straightforward, though we did have to bootpack about 75m on supportive snow. We kept left when descending down poor snow to Paradise Valley, and were able to ski to the meadow. There was ~130cm of snow at the campsite. Paradise Valley to Moraine Lake parking lot - Mitre Col to Lake Louise was the plan, but uncertainty about the condition of the north descent/cornice and general desire to turn our brains off and go home meant that we skied out valley bottom to the Moraine Lake Road. Eiffel couloir looked in. We took our skins off at the bridge below Lake Annette and then it was a tricep workout to the paradise parking lot. The final 1.3km of the road is plowed with about 3" of ice remaining above the asphalt. See photos for additional terrain references.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN