Tour to the quite easy reachable Half Dome above the White Water ski resort with descent into the 5-Mile-Bassin

Splitboard Skitour - Half Dome
Difficulty SAC: WS
Summit altitude: 2.328m
Start altitude: 1.646m
Vertical height: 880m
Walking time h:min: 4:00
Exposition: North,Northeast,Northwest,
Best season: Deep winter
How to get there:

For tours around Nelson, the city is a good base. Nelson can be reached by car from Revelstoke in 4 hours and offers accommodation in all price ranges. From Nelson take the Nelson Nelway Hwy/BC-6 Highway towards Salmo and after about 12km turn onto the road to Whitewater Skiresort. There is parking space at the lift.

Route description
Starting point:

Lifts in Canada are really a relief if you don't want to spend hours in dense forest, and are highly recommended to get over the tree line quickly and without helicopters or sleds. The actual start of the tour is therefore the top of the Silver King lift, which can be used for 22,50$ CAD (ca. 16€), ascending through the ski area is unfortunately not allowed. Attention, to buy the ticket you have to show your complete avalanche equipment.


At the top station of the Silver King lift we put on our skins and cross a short distance to the south-east before reaching the connecting ridge between White-Queen and Halfdome via a winter hiking trail in serpentines. From here it goes always along the ridge in south-east direction, only interrupted by a short steep step which we only have to master on foot. Beware of the ridge, here are massive cornices on the north-east side, which we saw later on the descent. At an altitude of about 2200m we leave the ridge, as it becomes steep and cross into the northern slope until we reach the north shoulder of the half dome. Here we leave our equipment and walk the last 50m in strong wind pressed snow on the 2328m high summit.


There are countless possibilities for the descent. We decide to go down into the untracked, north-side 5 Mile Bassin. This variant is connected with a 250m ascent back into the ski area if you don't want to fight your way back to civilization for kilometers.
The 5 Mile Bassin offers us plenty of space so that everyone can put his own line into the BC Powder. First we ride in a northerly direction through the free slope, until we turn into a forest clearing at approx. 2100m and ride down into the valley basin.
Arrived at the bottom, we skin up again and climb the approx. 250m back on the ridge.
At the top of the ridge there are two possibilities, either the downhill run via the winter trail back to the skiing area or further north-west to the White Queen. We divide up, part of the group goes directly down via the ski area, the rest of the group ascends approx. 2km and 200m along the ridge to the White Queen. The steep descent through the Canadian Forest back to the ski area compensates for the further efforts (there are no GPX data for this variant).

Arrived at the lodge we toast our first summit in Canada at the Coal Oil Johnny's Pub with some pitcher beer!


082F06 Nelson Topographic Map 1:50.000
Garmin Topt Map 1:50.000

Ascent route map (show/hide)

Log in or register download the gpx track.