Ski Traverse

Juneau Icefield/Boundary Range

James Minifie

Myself and two clients completed a 4 day, 60km ski traverse starting up valley of Ben-My-Cree on Tagish Lake and finishing in White Pass on the south Klondike highway. Weather was mixed - we started under high pressure with cold (-15C) temps and one blue bird day to complete the Juneau Icefield section which we did and established our first camp where the big ice meets the Boundary Range. Days 2-4 warmed up progressively delivering high overcast skies, some moderate south winds and steady inputs of fresh snow each night. I did not anticipate breaking trail in fresh snow for 60km in this part of the world but it made for great skiing with large packs. The route goes through quite a lot of complex, glaciated terrain and involves long ski descents but visibility stayed good enough to route find through most of the cruxes barring a few tricky moments along the way. I did walk off a couple of wind lips. Day 4 was the warmest by far. As we exited from the east of White Pass to the highway we noted a short lived wet loose, wet slab avalanche cycle on solar aspects. The wet slabs were thin and involved only storm snow. These were the only avalanches we observed for the entire trip! If fact, these were the only signs of instability we dealt with. Pretty crazy. Overall, it felt wintery still for April expect for the final day.

Source: Mountain Conditions