Tryst Lake is the classic go to ski tour if you’re looking for a short day and lot of runs. Tryst is the perfect spot to introduce skiers that are new to ski touring to the challenges of skiing up, kick turns, avalanche awareness and terrain choice. Skiing at Tryst should always be a multiple run day – there are several chutes that lead to the lake on a north facing aspect, and a number of larger runs on the south side that are in an area known as “Superslope.”
Start by skiing across a large meadow and up through an old cutblock. You then begin to ascend to the ridge – all told, it should take 1.5 - 2 hours. Many skiers will do several runs on the Tryst Lake side, and then finish off with a longer run down Superslope which leaves you in the Commonwealth Valley drainage. It’s an easy ski coming down from both Tryst Lake and Commonwealth Valley and so the advantage with this area is that you can do as many laps as you’re comfortable with, without exhausting yourself too far from the car.
In good snow conditions, the runs down Superslope are tons of fun! Superslope stretches from Tryst Ridge all the way around The Fist, to the col between The Fist and Mt. Smuts. The runs get progressively larger and more “substantial” as you move away from Tryst Ridge, so approach with caution. I had one of my best runs here in April a few years ago when it tends to snow a little more in Kananaskis Country. 100 turns to the valley bottom of bottomless blower. Best thing is that I was on my mountain bike later that evening on dry dirt in Canmore!
You’ll probably see wildlife here. I’ve seen moose licking my car at the end of the day, and I even saw a grizzly bear chasing a deer in the spring, looking for his first meat fix of the season. It’s also a very popular area to ski tour in so if you come up here on the weekend, you will see lots of human wildlife. Come up here midweek and you’ll be able to see one of the most scenic places in Kananaskis Country in the powder and the quiet.
The terrain seems tame when you’re up here, but these chutes can be dangerous. People have died up here. The large chute at the end of the ridge slides several times a year, and debris has collapsed the lake in the past. Don’t be a statistic and play your cards right! Being at a busy place can be nerve wracking since you never know who is skiing above you, so be vigilant if you’re here on the weekends, check the conditions, and ski each chute one at a time.