A fun day on a classic Rockies line off Mount Temple’s north ridge. Snow quality prevented this tour from getting a 3-star rating from me as it was skied out when we were there.

Logistics

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Park at the Moraine Lake road turn-off in Lake Louise where the winter road closure is in place (until mid-May). If the road is open, continue along until the Paradise Valley trailhead.

Trip Report

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The route begins up the Moraine Lake road and branches right onto the Paradise Valley hiking trail. Follow the signs for Lake Annette, which is approximately 12km from the Moraine Lake turn-off.

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Once at Lake Annette (shown above), continue across the lake and underneath Temple’s north face with the large serac looming overhead. Head towards the west-facing bowl above Lake Annette.

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Looking ahead to the west-facing bowl above Lake Annette. Continue up to the pass in the centre of photo, skinning across thin, faceted snow.

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Once above the west-facing bowl, you will be greeted with a great view of Aemmer Couloir! It took us about 3 hours to get to this point at a relatively fast pace. The couloir, including the fan, is approximately 650m high.

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Booting up the coolie. Longer than it looks!

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Wonderful views after topping out. Aemmer Couloir on left.

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The upper reaches of the couloir averaged 55 degrees in steepness, with one sample in particular pushing 58, yikes! The lower portion of the couloir ranged from 35-45 degrees. Ski quality was poor, but stable.

Stats

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GPS route shown above in blue.

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Times and distances are round trip, and includes a 45-minute delay as we waited for our turn on the couloir (it is quite busy).

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