An excellent tour that gives you one of the best descents in Kananaskis. This is a steep and committing loop that should only be attempted in stable conditions by knowledgeable individuals.
Elevation Gain: 630m
Physical Difficulty: 3/5
Technical Difficulty: 4/5
Avalanche Terrain Rating: Complex
Map: 82 J/11
To Get Here: From Canmore take the Smith Dorrien / Spray Lakes Road for 50km to an opening that is 1.4km past the Sawmill Parking Lot.
Route Description: Ski down the clearing towards the creek. Cross the Smith Dorrien Creek and stay to the lookers right of the Valley drainage. Pick your way through the open trees, as you ascend the valley. Stay right of the creek bed until you break out into a meadow at the bottom of Hero Knob's slide main slide path. Be aware of overhead hazard. Cross the drainage and head South climbing the North Shoulder of Purple Knob. There are lots of slide paths on the NE face that provide good skiing in stable conditions. If you are certain that the snow is stable, continue SE up the first valley that parallels the road, towards Warspite Lake. Nearing the valley saddle, trend West crossing the East shoulder of Purple Knob and gaining the back bowl. This bowl is often rimmed with cornices, is steep and should be treated with caution. Work your way up the bowl to the lowest saddle on lookers right. Gain the saddle and either enjoy a short victory lap in the back bowl, or gear up for the long descent. From the saddle drop 170m down the NW face and across the bench. Continue fall line down another 360m to the valley bottom and ski out your uptrack.
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