West Face, Wawa RidgeSunshine Range
- CanadaBanff National Park
For information to access the starting point for West Face, on Wawa Ridge, please see the Sunshine Resort Slack/Sidecountry ski zone page.
The West Face of Wawa Ridge offers a bunch of different terrain from cliff bands, steep faces, tight chutes and christmas tree glades. Most years the upper section from Wawa Ridge's "summit" is not skiable but addes some alpine feature skiing when it is.
At the bottom of this run you will have to climb up and over a small ridge to gain access exit options from The Dinosaur Head runs. There is a clear open area below the West Face and most people will be tempted to go into the cleared drainage feature and down into White Wizard run. The White Wizard has a large ice waterfall on it and should be avoided unless you intend to do a little ski mountaineering to get out.Ski Line Info: [?]
Max Elevation: 2450m
Min Elevation: 2250m
Vertical Relief: 200m
Distance: 0.80kmSki Line Access Info: [?]
Vertical Gain: 260m
Vertical Loss: 10mSki Zone Access Info: [?]
Ski Zone: Sunshine Resort Slack/Sidecountry
Vertical Gain: 550kmCombined Access Info: [?]
Vertical Gain: 810m
Vertical Loss: 10mMap Info: 82 O/4
GR846595 (top of Wawa lift)
GR843606 (start of main ridge climb)
GR839608 (large open flat area)Directions:
From Sunshine Village head up the Meadow Park green run to arrive at the top of Wawa lift. If you purchased a lift pass take Wawa lift. From the unloading area for the Wawa chair lift head west to find a backcountry gate with an overview image of the Wawa Ridge area. From the backcountry gate travel north-west over rolling terrain and towards the main ridge. You should pass the summer trail sign to your right after about 5-10 minutes (large rock at low point). You will descend a short slope north-west before climbing to a small group of trees on the lower section of the main ridge, from here follow the ridge north. Continue north, following the main rolling ridge, until you come to the last steeper section with a boulder at the bottom and a cairn at the top. Most parties will ski down from here but if the upper face is filled in then climb the steeper last section to the "summit", boot packing may be required. At the top head over to the large cairn to scout a route down the usually unskiable upper section.
Ski over rolling benched terrain before descending an open slope down onto a large open flat area. If you start earlier on Wawa Ridge you will ski over flats and down a steeper but shorter slope and end up to the south of the large open flat area. Between these two options you will find a series of cliffs and tight chutes that you can ski (landings is within a rock fall area). Many of these isolated slopes do avalanche regularly both naturally and skier triggered.
To get back to the resort either skin back to Wawa Ridge or follow the White Wizard or Healy Main Drain runs to link back up with Healy Creek Trail.