Five Days at the Asulkan Cabin

After 18 years of skiing in Rogers Pass, I finally got to spend some time at the Asulkan Cabin. I can see why it’s booked all winter long. Perched at 2120m at the head of the Asulkan Valley, it grants visitors prime access to some of the best ski touring terrain in Rogers Pass.

A blustery night at the Asulkan Cabin

I had some apprehension about spending four nights in the cabin with nine other people; but there’s plenty of room to hang and cook while the upstairs bunks spread people out pretty well. Ultimately, the hut experience is really good there.

In terms of access, the terrain is pretty incredible. 700m above the hut is the summit of Youngs Peak, to the northwest lie the Dome and Asulkan Glaciers. There’s great storm skiing below the hut, off the triangle moraine, and Glacier Crest. It’s definitely a challenging place to be when there’s elevated hazard and the possibility of large avalanches. There are very few places to ski that don’t have significant overhead hazard.

Storm skiing below the Asulkan Cabin

When we walked into the hut, nearly 50cm of storm snow had fallen over the weekend. It made for deep trail breaking from the bridge that crosses the Asulkan Brook to the tree triangle. Due to the winds and continued precipitation, I opted to dodge the mouse trap and sneak up through the trees to the west.

On the way in.

The first two days were spent approaching the cabin and storm skiing on the triangle moraine below Sapphire col. While there was clearly a natural avalanche cycle occurring in the alpine, in sheltered areas at treeline and below, we observed no slab properties in the storm snow. Only wind affected areas presented slab properties, thus we enjoyed some incredibly deep powder skiing.

Marc-Andre enjoying trench town.
Jean-Charles smashing pow.
Our tracks on the triangle moraine.

Another 5cm of convective flurries fell that evening while the winds calmed and the temperatures dropped. We awoke to a prefect day for alpine skiing

Alpine glow out the door.

We skied a 1000m lap off of the shoulder of Youngs Peak and headed to the Dome Col. While the storm snow had settled quite a bit there was still 35 cm of ski penetration. Fortunately, some friends of mine had punched a track up to the Dome Col already that morning. Smooth settled pow turns with a bit of sloughing were on the menu for the descent. After quick traverse over to the triangle moraine and another great run, we made our way back up to the cabin, capping off a 2000m day of fantastic powder skiing.

Dome Pow
Triangle Moraine
Evening light on the Swiss Peaks.

The next day, the skiing on Youngs Peak was so good, we had to do it twice. 2400m of untracked powder made for a great day of skiing.

Silk on the Youngs Peak head wall.
Classic Youngs Peak
Afternoon light on Asulkan Pass
Benoit on lap number two
Jean-Charles carving.
Pterodactyl West for happy hour.

Temps started to warm up on Friday so we creamed out some final pow laps around the hut and Asulkan Pass, donned our big packs and headed for the road. North aspects were still skiing really well.

The crew on the way out.

Everything you’ve ever heard about the Asulkan Cabin is true. It gets hot at night if you’re not careful with the heat. There are some resident mice and it is close quarters cabin dwelling; but the skiing is as good as it gets. If you get a chance to go, do it, you won’t regret it.