Purple Bowl – ski Dec 16/2011 Wolverine ridge lake louise


Purple bowl/valley aka wolverine valley by Lake Louise ski hill Wolverine ridge



Leisurely AT trip into Purple bowl –  beside Lake Louise with Clayton.  See Chic’s Ski Trails Book – Skied up to above Temple lodge(45 min).  Took Skoki summer trail which is 70m uphill from winter XC ski trail.  Follow trail for .4 km then took a cutline which goes up to right off the trail high point(orange skidoo sign).  This had a broke trail which contoured around the North end of Wolverine ridge (Chic calls Silvertip ridge)and up into the valley.  This is much better than going further on the Skoki trail (and down) to use the narrow drainage to access the valley as we did in the past. Also allows you to glide all the way out with no regaining of elevation.

Higher up near the end of the  valley at the headwall, we took a drainage which goes up to left in the trees and then cuts right to go up a ramp to access a col on Wolverine ridge(~2.5 hours with stops – 500 to 600m?).  From here you can go up the ridge to Purple peak (another 150 to 200m elev) which was mostly blown clear.

Later in year with good snow coverage and good avi conditions can drop right into Woverine bowl from up near purple peak and come out on Larch runs.  Qualifiers –  Steep, avi risk, route finding in trees and cliffs,  use at own risk , etc.  See exit to Larch runs at   The Powder 8 championships where held in this bowl back whenever.

or drop left into Purple bowl (less steep) and come down around the headwall towards Redoubt side. Avi risk, etc.

You can also travel Northish along Wolverine ridge(chic calls Silvertip ridge) and drop off the right side(NE) in many places for good short runs in thin trees back down to your uptrack in the valley.  Note people have died in avalanches here.   This is same NEish aspect as the recent Coral 3 slide which was described/pic in the MCR. We found lots of collapsable sugar snow below a midpack firm layer so we skied back along our uptrack (hit one rock at the base of the headwall drainage)and then glided back on the track with only minor poling. Fast out to car from col of less than 30 – 40 min and only 8 min from ski hill.

Good trip for short days or poor weather – Can do laps on side of ridge, etc.

Poor pics due to condensation on camera due to carrying camera in pocket.

Pics here Purple Bowl

Note – some confusion on naming as Chic has this bowl as Purple bowl and Wolverine bowel used to be called Purple bowl.

More pics at Purple Peak  , Purple Bowl and Lipallian

About Bill Kerr

Weekend climber, scrambler and backcountry skier from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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