Named after a series of decommissioned logging roads on Mt. Broadwood’s NE flank, the Drinkwater area offers some obscure ski touring opportunities for those who like to go where few, if any, have skied before. There are 2 parking areas that can be used to access Drinkwater Trees and Slidepath. The first and best option is a pullout near the 20km mark on the Lodgepole FSR (radio freq. RR2). If, for whatever reason, the Lodgepole parking is not available, you can try parking near the 15km mark on the River FSR but expect to add an hour of skinning.
Starting from the 20km pullout on the Lodgepole FSR, above. There are 2 pullouts at this km, but the second one is bigger with more than enough room for other vehicles. Behind the truck on the left is the beginning of the old logging road we used to gain elevation.
In the first 5 minutes of skinning, the old logging road crosses a small creek, above. The creek is small but it’s quite steep on either side. This is the only difficulty we encountered on the way up.
The logging road system on this flank of Mt. Broadwood can be confusing, with multiple, unmarked spur roads like the one above. A map is quite handy for this tour.
Lots of nice camping spots along the way!
The photo above shows the main Drinkwater ski area, with the NE facing slidepath seen in the middle, and some short tree skiing on the SE face off the summit (on the other side of the left ridge). The ridge on the left provided easy and safe access.
Above is a photo taken while skinning up the ridge. The trees were tight but bushwacking was minimal.
Looking south from the ridge towards some chutes that could be skied if you wish! I doubt anyone has skied them.
Looking north from the ridge towards some more interesting terrain.
After about an hour of uneventful skinning up the ridge you will come across a large gully at ~1880m. Working your way over to the left and back up the ridge will take you to a high point at 49.3266, -114.9754. From this high point, you can ski down some SE-facing trees for a couple hundred meters. If the snow is stable and you want to ski the Drinkwater Slidepath, then descend into the gulley and traverse NW (right) underneath the cliffs until you reach the slidepath. Or do both!
Drinkwater tree skiing from the high-point shown above. Nice, easy, and mellow.
After descending into the aforementioned gully and traversing NW below the cliffs you will some across the above slidepath.
Looking down the slidepath. A fun 400m run.
About half way down the slidepath you will encounter the above terrain trap (a small cliff). Stay skier’s left in the trees if you are looking for a safer route down.
The slidepath run out continues down and meets up with yet another old logging road (with some bushwacking through regen at the bottom). Hang a right on this road to bring you back to your skin track.
The above stats include skiing both the trees and the slidepath.