Quartz Hill (+Ridge)

Interesting Facts: 

Located on the continental divide at the head of Howard Douglas Creek. on the border of Banff & Assiniboine parks, Alberta/BC border. Major headwaters Bow & Kootenay rivers.Naming: geological: The top of this high ridge is made up of pieces of quartz. Official name. (from peakfinder.com

Trip Category: 
OT - Off-Trail Skiing
Technical Difficulty Level: 
6
Endurance Level: 
High
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Yes
Trip Date: 
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Summit Elevation (m): 
2,580

Quartz Hill has been on my radar ever since I first skied the Sunshine Meadows way back in 2007 with a large group trip up Twin Cairns. Well, almost exactly a decade later and I was back for my first real attempt. I briefly considered scrambling up the ridge while backpacking along the NE face of it on my way towards Howard Douglas Lake and Citadel Pass back in the fall of 2016 but a closure forced me to reconsider that idea. I believe that there is now an annual closure in the area, restricting any off trail travel near Howard Douglas Lake and moving Quartz Hill and Ridge towards winter-only (legal) ascents. Healy Pass Peak has this same type of annual closure going on, presumably to protect the fragile alpine meadows which do not easily rebound from human tracks.

 


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Summit Elevation (ft): 
8,464
Elevation Gain (m): 
1000
Round Trip Time: 
6.50
Total Distance (km): 
21.50
Quick 'n Easy Rating: 
Class 2 : you fall, you sprain your wrist
Difficulty Notes: 

Avalanche terrain up to considerable on the final summit block. Otherwise a very tame backcountry ski trip.