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Citadel Pass

I headed on this trip with my friend Mark and my Dad in Easter, 2002. The trip is about 20km both ways, with approximately 430m of total elevation gain. For more information see Chic Scott's Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies.

After you reach the parking lot at Sunshine, pay the hefty fee for the Gondola + Strawberry lift combo for cross country skiiers. For those who have never been to Sunshine, this is where you get off the gondola, at Sunshine Village. The Strawberry Chair is just out of site to the left.

Once you reach the top of the Strawberry Chair, you are faced with this view. Continue out into the wild blue yonder away from any traces of civilization. We searched and searched for tracks, but found none. We were all by ourselves!

Soon later we got this great shot while shedding some layers. It was such a hot day! In the background I believe is the Monarch, which is a beautiful mountain. Just after this photo op we passed under the largest cornice I have ever seen. I swear it hung out over 30 or 40 feet from Quartz Ridge! Of course we didn't want to spend much time here, so that explains why there aren't many pictures of it. After this you meander your way up an unnamed outlier of Quartz Ridge, which ends up being the highest point of the trip.

Once you are past the cornices, climb up that steep outlier of Quartz Ridge. On top is about the halfway point of the trip. It is also the highpoint of the trip. You descend down the slope which of course is fun, but remember that almost famous saying : what goes down must come up! After the descent just pick your trail, but ours seemed fine. What an awesome picture, eh? I now regret spoiling it with all the red stuff, so enjoy the route markers, because they soon might mysteriously disappear........

Here's my pops at Citadel Pass. He was the first one there! It was his second time on this ski trip, but he was saddened to see the lack of interest for cross-country skiing, and the hordes migrating to downhill skiing. Doing the backcountry stuff is the REAL skiing, though. This is the only picture of him on the entire trip, since he's always eager to take pictures of others. What a great dad! So here's my dad with Mount Assiniboine in the background. We went the entire day without a cloud, and then rounded the corner of Citadel Peak to find the 'Boine in the clouds. Some day I hope to climb it.back to ski page