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Ski Touring on Mount Rohr

Ski Touring on Mount Rohr
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Mount Rohr is a great single day ski tour located in the Duffey Lake area. Featuring epic views that change with every ridgeline you gain, the Mount Rohr ski tour is a very enjoyable adventure for intermediate backcountry skiers. From tree skiing, to boulder fields, to alpine meadows and approachable chutes, Mount Rohr offers something for everyone and for all conditions. 

Getting to Mount Rohr

Access to the Mount Rohr ski tour is right off of Duffey Lake Road. There is an unnamed parking lot located across the road from a large salt shed, about 1.4 kilometers up the road from the popular Cayoosh Parking Lot. The location of the salt shed is starred below. 

Driving times to the lot are: 1h hour from Whistler, 1h 45 from Squamish, and 2h30 from Vancouver. Because of the distance from Vancouver, some Vancouverites choose to sleep in the Rohr-access parking lot the night before, or spend a couple of days touring in the area, adding in a trip to Cayoosh, Joffre, Cerise Creek, the Elizabeth Parker Hut, or one of the other endless options in the Duffey.

Mount Rohr Ski Tour Stats

The main ski tour up to the summit of Mount Rohr is roughly 8.5km up, with 1,350m of ascent. Starting point elevation is 1,280m. Summit elevation is about 2,400m. 

The ascent is 3km of logging road, followed by treed switchbacks, before working your way through an alpine meadow. The descent offers plenty of sub-30 degree alpine skiing, followed by a fun amphitheatre, then finishing with a ski out along the same logging road.

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Starting the Tour

The tour starts on a short trail through the woods, located about 100m or so west of the parking lot. Follow this for a couple of minutes before it opens up to an old logging road. Continue along this road for about a kilometer and a half at which point you’ll come to a fork in the road. 

Keeping right will take you up to a series of switchbacks, meandering up the side of Rohr Ridge. This provides a shorter – albeit steeper and more technical – access to the south-facing avalanche chutes off of Rohr Ridge. However, to continue up to Mount Rohr, keep left at the fork and follow the trail wrapping around the base of Rohr Ridge. 

The trail wiggles its way through the forest for another 2.5km before it splits again. This time, keep right at the fork to continue onto Rohr, whereas keeping left will take you towards the Elizabeth Parker Hut. From the fork you’ll gain elevation more rapidly as you work your way up to the base of a large amphitheatre.

Up the Amphitheatre to Rohr Lake

The amphitheatre offers enticing lines of tree skiing, pillow fields, and open areas. This provides a good vantage point to pick out your line for later 😉 Switchbacking your way up the amphitheatre will gain you another 150m or so of elevation and bring you to the spectacular views of Rohr Lake. 

Rohr Lake is about the halfway point of the tour in terms of both elevation and distance. We chose to take a break here to soak up the sun, rehydrate and refuel (turkey sandwiches from The Bunker…yummmm). The views (and sandwiches) were truly spectacular. 

On another day I would happily set up a day camp at Rohr Lake and do laps of the amphitheatre. The north-facing aspects are well-protected from the sun and offer plenty of fun pillow lines. But on this day, it was a great spot to recharge before heading up to Rohr.

You don’t want to be the one who forgets to bring their skins…Never leave home without consulting our Backcountry Skiing Packing List

Through the Rohr Alpine

Zipping across Rohr Lake is a treat after all the uphill of the amphitheatre. After reaching the East end of the lake, work your way up through the alpine meadows. Rohr summit will come into clear view after gaining the first couple of ridgelines. 

The alpine meadow is wide and gradual. There is enough space on either side that you’re well-protected from any skiers above you on the north aspects, or sun-triggered slides on the south aspects. Nevertheless, it’s always prudent to be aware of what’s above you. 

At around 1,900m you’ll come to the top of the last roller in the meadow, which will bring a spectacular view of Rohr summit into view. From here, it’s a short skins-on descent down to the left, before the switchbacks that lead up to the summit. We chose to turn around at about 2,050m because the winds at the summit looked menacing and the snow wind scoured. 

The Descent From Mount Rohr

From the summit, there is plenty of great mellow skiing on the northwest aspects of Rohr. Conditions permitting, you can pick and choose your way through different chutes before hitting the wide open slope down to the meadow. We were able to carry our speed through the rollers of the meadow, which offer some fun little features and small slopes to get some turns in. 

To avoid putting our skins on, we opted to pole our way back across the lake and, without too much strain, made it to the top of the amphitheatre. There were a couple of groups posted up for lunch on the sun-drenched edge of the lake. Paradise!

We bounced our way through the boulder field, finding fun drops and jumps along the way. All the south-facing snow was pretty mashed potato-ey at this point (12:30pm on a warm, Spring day), but the north-facing boulder fields offered us plenty of great powder. 

Doggedly determined to avoid putting our skins back on, we stayed as high to skier’s left as we could after getting out of the amphitheatre. We deked and ducked our way through the trees as we maintained our elevation while trail parallel to the skin track. If you weren’t as against reskinning as we were, skiing down to the skin track isn’t a bad option. Alas, we were able to make it all the way back to the car without transitioning.

Variations of the Mount Rohr Ski Tour

While the classic Mount Rohr ski tour is a great option, there are several ways that you could improvise it. First, as I mentioned before, you could stop at Rohr Lake and do laps in the amphitheatre all day. I personally think this sounds like a blast; there is some very playful terrain in there. 

Another option that we saw people do was veering to the South at around 2,050m, instead of veering North towards the summit. This helps you gain the ridge, from where you can ski the south aspects of Rohr Ridge. There are various avalanche chutes here which will take you right back down to the road. If you’re considering these, be sure to check the Drive BC website for updates on avalanche control in the area.

Looking for Other Intermediate Ski Tours in the Sea to Sky?

Check Our Tour of Gin Peak!

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Jeff “I want to ski tour” rey

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

Awesome tour, when will the border open again so I can do this 😁

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