Long Day On The French/Haig/Robertson Traverse


By Jane Davies

After a restful night at the Bear Hostel in Canmore (first time the club has stayed there) the group of nine,( Steve Davies, Jane, Karen, Dave Rideout, Dave Allen, Andy, Todd, Vance and Ivan) set out early. The Burstalll Parking lot had 10-12 ft of snow piled up along the road. We made our way up the French Creek with some long periods of bushwacking often led by ‘young’ Andy doing the trail breaking.  We came across the previous weeks avalanche which had started way up high and came down  taking out a swath of trees, 200yds x 100yds, all the way to the creek.  During our lunch break we were passed by a couple who then took over the trail breaking.  Going up the French Glacier was a long grunt with great snow conditions. We had a break before crossing the Haig and up the headwall to the Robertson.  The headwall comprised of sugar snow, slab snow, snow waist deep in gullies, and some bare rock.  We all made it up, rested and then began the beautiful, long ski down the Robertson.  The conditions were fantastic, which really paid off for the guys with the fat skis. Some wonderful tele skiing was had all the way down to the trees.  Then it was back to work for the guys on the fat skis as we skied back to the vehicles.  Avalanche conditions throughout were stable. We spent the evening in the Grizzly Paw, downing some well earned beer.  A great trip, challenging in parts, but very rewarding.