Sunday, 13 April 2014

Skiing in the Tablelands Bowl in Gros Morne National Park

The largest of the recent avalanches in the bowl
by Keith and Heather Nicol
   On Saturday, April 12 we headed to the Tablelands Bowl in Gros Morne National Park to check out the snow and avalanche situation. It was our first trip to the bowl this winter and our group consisted of Jamie Ryan and Scott Ledrew but we met several other people in the bowl while we were skiing and riding. Overall all we saw 9 others beside our group and they were on a mix of equipment including AT (alpine touring), telemark and snowboards. We saw 3 avalanches in the bowl but the largest was on climbers left and it was 80-100 meters long and roughly 20-25 meters wide. The debris was generally only 30 cm deep but in places it was piled up 1 to 1.5 meters deep.  Had you been  hit by this avalanche you would have definitely been knocked off your feet and likely injured since debris was pretty solid. It is uncertain when it came down but was likely several days old and may have been associated with some snow that fell on Sunday, April 6. The cornices that rim the bowl are huge and generally have not collapsed so give the main part of the bowl a wide berth. We stuck to the slopes on climbers right where the grade allows for a skin track to be set and we stayed well away from any areas under the cornice. The day turned out to be perfect skiing since there was no wind (even at the top)
and the snow softened nicely through the day. There is tons of snow in this area, and we had to park on the road since the normal parking lot was still snow covered. We measured snow depths along the way into the bowl and although there some wind swept areas we also found depths approaching 2 meters in places. This area should be good skiing for some quite awhile this spring but use caution in some steeper areas especially on very warm days or when there has been a fresh snowfall.
Scott Ledrew with Jamie Ryan in the background
Jamie Ryan skis over some older loose snow avalanche debris


  1. How long is this ski? Is it a afternoon/day trip. Would love to see more photos of the area if you have any. Facebook posts would be awesome.

  2. It is generally a full day but you can make it shorter. Most people hike or skin to the upper bowl and then do laps from there getting in several runs on the upper steeper faces.Best for heavy gear with medal edges etc. Some people simply snowshoe up for the view. You can also ski across the Tablelands on lighter gear but you would likely start further toward Trout River.