Summit Elevation (m): 2593
Elevation Gain (m): 1000
Trip Time (hr): 7
Total Trip Distance (km): 19
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something. Unless you’re caught in an avalanche – then you could die.
Difficulty Notes: Winter ascent includes serious avalanche risks. Learn how to manage these risks and perform avalanche burial rescues before attempting this trip.
Technical Rating: OT4; YDS (Ski)
Map: Google Maps
On Saturday, January 23 2010 I joined a nice large group of friends for a jaunt up Burstall Pass Peak in the Burstall Pass area of Kananaskis. Since I had a bat attitude (or “battitude”) on the evening before, I decided to sleep in an extra hour and try to catch the rest of the group on the way up the pass. I was a bit bummed out on the drive to K-country because the weather was very grey and depressing. I was starting to think sleeping in would have been a great idea.
At the parking lot the weather was still socked in but since I was there anyway I decided to get a work out and try to catch up to the rest of the group. I went quickly up the trail and 1 hour 5 minutes later I was over the first major elevation gain and thinking that I may not catch the group quite as quickly as I thought!
At the final slope before the pass I finally heard voices ahead of me and was relieved to come around a corner and run into the group. To make things even better, the sun finally started to poke out and there wasn’t even a breath of wind as we crested the pass – very unusual for this area.
TJ led a great line up the first peak and soon we were strapping our skis on our packs and starting on a very cool high traverse to the true summit. We spent a good half hour on the summit with snow dust drifting down on us and the sun warm on our faces – it was fantastic!
The ski down the pass had some great moments, the best being some glades just under the pass.
All-in-all a great day out and I’m very glad I didn’t miss it.