Rogers Pass Guidebook Review: Rogers Pass: Uptracks, Bootpacks, & Bushwhacks by Douglas Sproul
Rogers Pass is a backcountry skiing paradise that is located between Golden and Revelstoke on the Trans-Canada highway in the middle of Glacier National Park in the Selkrik Range of British Columbia.
Canada’s Glacier National Park features a legendary snowpack, massive terrain relief, impressive avalanche control systems, and world class ski touring and ski mountaineering objectives. It’s one of the best human powered skiing playgrounds I’ve ever seen. The terrain features glades, alpine bowls, and icefields with descents up to 1500 meters. It’s big terrain and it’s so much fun!
If you haven’t been to Rogers Pass you need to go. If you’ve already been, you understand why you need to go back. And everyone who slaps on a pair of skins at one of the parking areas along Highway 1 needs a copy of Rogers Pass: Uptracks, Bootpacks, & Bushwhacks by Douglas Sproul.
Sproul, an American, has been living in Revelstoke for years. In 2014, he published Rogers Pass: Uptracks, Bootpacks, & Bushwhacks and the accompanying topographic map. The in-depth guidebook is one of the better guidebooks on the market for any zone. It’s a wealth of information that is written for both locals and visitors to experience what makes Rogers Pass so incredible. The super handy topo map (1:31,500) is the perfect companion to carry with you on your skiing adventure.
Rogers Pass: Uptracks, Bootpacks, & Bushwhacks does an excellent job of combining maps, pictures, descriptions, and details to paint a picture of the vast terrain at Rogers Pass. It’s the perfect starting point for planning any tour or mission in the area.
The book is broken into 13 chapters based on information and area. The chapters include:
- Park Regulations
- Accommodations | Huts
- Understanding The Beta
- Sir Donald
Each of the eight areas (Chapters 5-12) features a quick summary of each zone that tells you what it’s good for and what it’s not good for. Plus it highlights a hit list of quickies, classics, and epics. Then it dives into different routes, images, and descriptions.
This book features a lifetime of ski ascents and descents. You’ll find name brand lines like Forever Young Couloir, 8812, STS, Lens Couloir, Bonney Traverse, Grizzly Shoulder, Sapphire Col, or Balu Pass. But the most impressive thing about this guidebook is the details. For the 100 different routes featured in the 304 pages of this guidebook, each one has important beta like:
- Elevation Range
- Vertical Total
- Pack (Ski Touring, Ski Mountaineering, Extreme Ski Mountaineering)
- Parking Permits
- Winter Permits
Sproul is a lucky man to know Rogers Pass so well. Most people will never know the Pass as well as he does. In addition to this guidebook, I also recommend poking your head into the Rogers Pass Discovery Center when you arrive to speak to Park staff about routes, permits, and the latest local knowledge. They are happy to share info and it’s worth chatting to them. They can also set you up with Winter Park Permits, National Park Permits, and Camping Permits.
Overall I’m super impressed with Rogers Pass: Uptracks, Bootpacks, & Bushwhacks by Douglas Sproul. It’s an absolute necessity for anyone heading to Rogers Pass. Be sure to stop by Sproul’s website, GeoBackcountry.com for a list of retailers who sell this book. FYI they are almost all in Canada. Plus, you can also find a free link on his site to beta on The Bugaboos to Roger Pass Traverse.
Definitely pick a copy of Rogers Pass: Uptracks, Bootpacks, & Bushwhacks by Douglas Sproul. It’s well worth the cost and it will sit proudly on your shelf until you get to go ski this epic backcountry area.
Road trip anyone?
Before you visit Rogers Pass, you may also want to look into these links:
- Take the annual winter permit quiz before you arrive
- Download the Winter Terrain Atlas
- Bookmark the Avalanche Bulletin for Glacier National Park
- Find out what Winter Restricted Areas are open each day
- Get the Road Conditions Report For Highway 1 from DriveBC.ca
- More info from Parks Canada about Ski Touring on Rogers Pass