Its short approach, along with the many terrain options makes Pocaterra Cirque probably the most popular area of Highwood Pass. You’ll find the fans and chutes of Highwood Ridge, some alpine and tree-skiing on Pocaterra ridge, and some less popular skiing around Grizzly Col.
N & S
Park at the main Highwood Pass parking lot and follow the Pocaterra trail immediately north of the parking lot. Skinning through the trails here is never easy, but it is short. After just over 1km, you’ll exit the trees and have sight on Highwood Ridge immediately to the left, and Pocaterra Ridge on the right. From here you’ve got a number of options:
1. The first slopes of Highwood Ridge. You can skin directly up the fan and just ski that, or bootpack up one of the the chutes for a slightly longer run.
2. The secondary slopes of Highwood Ridge. To get here, head west, past the first fan and through a sparse set of trees. From here you can skin up the secondary fan, and if stability allows, bootpack up one of the chutes.
3. Pocaterra Ridge. Continue heading past the secondary slopes of Highwood Ridge. Skirt along the left side of the trees until they’re sparse enough to make your way north to the creek. From here, generally follow the creek until you’re at the base of the southern tip of Pocaterra Ridge. Skin up through the trees.
4. Grizzly Col. Head past Highwood Ridge, all the way to the back. Once at the back, make a left and head south. You’ll gain view of Grizzly Col. The main skiable run is a sliver of snow just right of a rock outcropping (lookers left of the col)
5. Mt Pocaterra fans. This is past Pocaterra Ridge and directly below Mt Pocaterra. This is a bit of terrain trap, and the fans slide often, so be sure of stability before venturing into this area.