Words: Bruno Long
Once described on a Canadian Pacific Railway advertising poster as “50 Switzerlands in One,” Rogers Pass, just along the corridor of the Trans-Canada highway between Revelstoke and Golden, holds enough terrain for a lifetime of ski touring. For decades, skiers have explored this area known for deep powder, huge vertical relief, and some amazing ski mountaineering objectives. In the past five years, the number of skiers in the area has steadily increased, so local ski mountaineer Douglas Sproul saw a need for a comprehensive guidebook for visitors and locals alike.
Originally from Colorado, Sproul is a longtime resident of Revelstoke who has explored and studied the Rogers Pass area, situated smack dab in the middle of Glacier National Park, as much as anyone I’ve ever met. He saw a lack of detailed route information, and decided to take it upon himself to create a guidebook that would be a tool for every kind of user. He had a specific vision for what he wanted the book to be, so he taught himself the ‘ins and outs’ of Google Earth, graduating from the University of Trial & Error with a degree in perseverance.
He created a unique overlay program that partners Google Earth with detailed route descriptions and a gallery of terrain photos. After several years of work, Sproul has finally released the first half of the guidebook. “Uptracks, Bootpacks and Bushwhacks (Rogers Pass North)” is a 345 page, comprehensive read that not only describes the hundreds of routes that you can choose from, it also details the Parks Canada winter permit system, had detailed topographical maps, and describes ski mountaineering techniques and safety procedures. It is a must-have guidebook for beginners, weekend warriors, and seasoned Rogers Pass veterans.
Want to get your hands on a copy? Head over to www.rogerspass411.ca and get your virtual paws on the digital copy for only $25. Paper copies and the second volume, Rogers Pass South, will be out later in the summer/fall of 2013. You can also check out Sproul’s Facebook page to learn more.