Fissile Peak

Chris and I had an excellent day out in the Fitzsimmons range. We took the gondola out to the musical bumps, and then continued on towards Fissile Peak. After bootpacking up the south face, we went up the west ridge to the summit. From there, we retraced our steps down to lower on the ridge, where we skied down Banana Chute. We went back out via the Musical Bumps, as I wasn’t looking forward to the narrow icy Singing Pass trail.


I wasn’t sure where to go, but as it was suppose to be sunny and stable, I thought something steep like Fissile would be nice. Chris wasn’t too excited about the idea of bootpacking up something and then survival skiing down it though. As we were buying the backcountry passes, the lady at the counter was shocked when Chris told her that he didn’t have any records with Whistler-Blackcomb. It’s as if she thought everybody skis at Whistler. Chris and I felt like fish out of water as we stumbled through Whistler and out into the Musical Bumps.

A great view towards Mount Davidson, Mount Carr, and Castle Towers. I thought it would be a bit of a trek to get to Fissile, but those lifts sure do an amazing job of getting us high fast. At the rate we were climbing up that morning, we could have been on Everest by lunchtime.

Some “dude” bootpacking up the moraine behind me, which leads up to a thin layer of snow of top of rocks on the south face. This whole area is like a more “dude” version of Red Heather. I wore my baggy schoeller pants that day to fit in, but they weren’t bright highlighter yellow or blue.

Paul skiing down into Saddle Chute, a 55deg chute which starts in a minor saddle just west of the summit.

Neither Chris or I enjoy skiing anything steep, so we took the easiest line down Banana Chute. Although it’s only 40deg, the snow was quite firm and it took some effort to make it to the bottom in one piece. It’s quite an aesthetic line, following a consistently steep wide gully lined by rock walls.

Looking back up at Banana Chute, and Chris skiing down it. The snow softened near the bottom making the turns much more enjoyable.

Looking back at Banana Chute, and Fissile Peak. It goes from the low point on the West Ridge, and cut down diagonally from right to left.

Chris skiing across Russet Lake.

The snow was quite variable all day long. We encountered everything from wind blown junk, blower powder, firm icy snow, and breakable crust.

We took the long way out by climbing back up and down the Musical Bumps to get to the groomed runs at Whistler. I didn’t think that the Singing Pass trail would be much fun with the lack of recent snow. The long open groomers were a nice way to end the day, aside from the occasional icy patches where we wish we sharpened our edges.

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