Black Jack Ski Tour

Check it out Distance: 8 miles Difficulty: Moderately difficult Skiing time: 2-4 hours Season: Dec. through mid-March Maps: Black Jack Ski Area Info: Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club (604)362-9465

Ski touring trip notes

Access: From Rossland, British Columbia, drive about 3 miles north on Highway 3B. Just past Red Mountain Alpine Ski Area, turn right at Black Jack signs. Follow Mann Road 1/2 mile to parking area.

Attractions: Black Jack trail system includes about 40 kilometers of trails - ranging from easy to difficult. Trailhead across highway from facilities for downhill ski area. About 25K groomed for classic and skating; remaining more difficult trails are narrower and groomed to lesser standard.

This route samples both groomed and ungroomed trails. Be ready for occasional tight turns!

Three wood-heated warming huts on trail system.

Comments: Trail system generally goes uphill as you ski north. Gibbard’s Trail is easiest, following a single-lane road. Other trails narrower.

Begin this exploratory route by heading north from parking area on Jeldness Trail, which has nice variety of ups and downs. Ski nearly 1-1/2 miles, then bear left and up on Rawhide Trail. Bear right and down on Boomer. Turn left on Gibbard’s trail and ski to log shelter at Gibbard’s Camp. Take a break.

Backtrack on Gibbard’s short way, bear right onto Aquaduct, then get ready for a plunge and sharp turn as you bear left onto ungroomed Expresso Trail. (Note: In poor snow conditions, most skiers prefer to avoid Expresso and ski directly to the Hemlock Trail via Gibbard’s Trail.)

Turn left onto Tramway Trail and climb up to Gibbard’s to connect into Hemlock, which has variety of terrain including some steep ups and downs and sharp turns.

Take Copper Jack trail, which leads to wood-heated, plastic-covered shelter. From here, skiing is easy back to trailhead via Gibbard’s Trail.

Day passes $6 or $12 per family; fees collected on honor system. Children under 6 free. Nearby Rossland has all services. Cross-country ski rentals available near Red Mountain at High Country Sports, (604) 362-9000.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Map of area

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN - Routes: Classic Trips in the Inland Northwest

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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