Chick-a-Boom
Traverse

A great traverse in Kootenay National Park. You’ll head up Chickadee Valley to Chimney Col, descend into Boom Valley via a steep north aspect glacier, then ski back down into Chickadee Valley via another col. 

Distance

21.6 km

Elevation

1486 m

Time

6-8 hrs

Aspect

N/S

ROUTE DESCRIPTION

Park at the Great Divide Parking Area. Head across the road and along the creek into Chickadee Valley. The route generally follows along the creek until the forest opens at about 5.5 kms. At this point, you will be able to plan your route up the moraines and around the rock bands. Once high enough, trend right (north) into the large alpine valley and follow it up onto the glacier and the top of Chimney Col.

For the descent, start by skiing more skiers left to avoid a roll and steep terrain. After a short ways, cut right to avoid some rather large holes in the glacier. Traverse right until you see a line down. The terrain is quite steep, and depending on the line you take, there may be more holes to thread around. Continue down to the moraines and head southeast along the flats. There is another short descent coming up so it’s worth trying to traverse the flats without skins. You’ll pass through some trees, then down another short descent. From here, put the skins on and head southeast while gradually gaining elevation. It will open up and you’ll see a gentle slope heading to the col just west of Boom Mountain. If you’re aiming to ski back into Chickadee Valley, head to the top of the col. There are some avalanche slopes to either side which you can traverse to (if conditions allow) or you can ski the trees directly below the col. The terrain can be quite steep and the trees quite thick so the skiing isn’t great. You’re other option is ski through the trees below the col to Boom Lake and follow the creek out. It’s a 3km hike/skin back to the car if you didn’t leave a retrieval vehicle, but it’s an option if you’re not up for skiing the south aspect back into Chickadee Valley.

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