Cornice Ridge
On our way to Nelson, British Columbia, Zosia Zgolak and I stopped at Kootenay Pass on 24 December 2016 to ski up nearby Cornice Ridge, a relatively safe objective for novice AT skiers like ourselves.  There are actually two different trailheads for this trip on either side of Bridal Lake at the pass, but we parked at the more popular one on the west side of the lake.  Starting next to Bridal Lake Cabin, we followed a well-worn track through the forest leading up the southeast ridge.  Other than the odd steep section here and there, we had relatively few problems skinning up to the high point of Cornice Ridge (a higher bump further to the north is unofficially known as Buzz's Ridge).  With limited views because of low cloud cover, we did not linger very long before commencing our descent.  We stuck fairly close to our up-track while skiing the upper ridge, but we eventually veered to skier's right to enjoy some slopes with pristine powder.  After floundering a little in some flat spots lower down, we inadvertently ended up at the highway a few hundred metres west of our parking lot.  We took our skis off for the short walk back to my car along the highway.  With an abundance of snow and minimal avalanche danger, Cornice Ridge is a great introduction to skiing at Kootenay Pass, and I hope to return with Zosia in the future to explore the area more thoroughly.
And boom goes the dynamite! Zosia passes by a warning sign not far from the Bridal Lake Cabin.
Breaking trail through this deep powder would have sucked! A well-worn track allows easy access onto the ridge.
Time to use the heel lifts! Zosia climbs up an awkwardly steep section on the ridge.
The ridge gets narrow and steep beyond this point. Zosia approaches some sort of avalanche control installation high on the ridge.
Luckily, the snow is quite firm up here! Zosia boot-packs the last few metres to the high point.
Or they're dancing to Y-M-C-A by the Village People! Zosia and Sonny practice how to signal a passing helicopter for help on the high point of Cornice Ridge (2113 metres).
She's actually skiing with her skins on to help slow her down! Zosia skis down the upper ridge.
I took my skins off at the top. Zosia removes her climbing skins after descending the steep and narrow upper part of Cornice Ridge.
I hate it when it's uphill both ways! Some short uphill sections on the way down necessitate some partial boot-packing.
Best view of the day...unfortunately! A few distant ridges appear through the mist.
This is what we came here for, right? Zosia skis down untracked powder.
Looking like a seasoned pro now! Zosia carries her skis as she walks back to the parking lot along the highway.
A short but enjoyable outing! Total Distance:  4.5 kilometres
Total Time:  2 hours 51 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  348 metres

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