Hurricane Point, East Chute

Hurricane Point

Hurricane Point

Hurricane Point as it’s called on some maps, or peak 8,457′, greets me every morning over coffee. I’ve been up there a couple of times, and the ascent isn’t much fun. I’ve been wanting to ski the big chute cutting down the center for some time. Continue reading

Elkhorn Mountain, South Couloir

This is the Wallowa Mountain’s Elkhorn Mountain(9,233′), not Elkhorn Peak(8,931′) located in the Elkhorn Mountains. Unique name, Elkhorn is.

I’ve attempted this line at least twice (maybe thrice?) and every time conditions haven’t quite aligned. Last time Tysen and I tried the whole chute was filled with debris. I’ve been dreaming about this one a lot. 2,000 vertical feet, sustained pitch, ski right off the summit, it’s got it all.

Elkhorn Mountains south couloir

Elkhorn Mountains south couloir

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Matterhorn East

The Matterhorn is Wallowa Mountains second highest at 9,826′. It’s been on my tick list for awhile and I was fortunate to have great weather.

Approaching the 'Horn. Ice Lake in foredround

Approaching the ‘Horn. Ice Lake in foreground

Summit of Matterhorn looking southwest

Summit of Matterhorn looking southwest

Looking east. Clear enough to see Idaho's 7 Devils in the distance.

Looking east. Clear enough to see Idaho’s 7 Devils in the distance.

Skiing down right onto Ice Lake

Skiing down right onto Ice Lake

Snow was excellent! shaping up to be a great season

Snow was excellent! shaping up to be a great season

First Sunburn of the Year!

Even though high pressure has been keeping conditions firm, Kip had an idea for a traverse from Sawtooth into Little Granite Creek, down Peak 8620′ into Scotch Creek, then down Ruby. I thought it was a great idea. After strategic rig shuttling we began the slog up Falls Creek to Sawtooth.

Kip at the first transition under Sawtooth's summit spire

Kip at the first transition under Sawtooth’s summit spire

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Sacajawea, East Face

Sacajawea, 9838′, is the tallest peak in the Wallowa mountains, and sixth highest in Oregon. I’ve been meaning to get up there, so when Aaron asked if I wanted to go I jumped at the opportunity. We had excellent weather, great travel conditions and good snow. Great day to be on top of the Wallowas.

Only managed to get one picture, Aaron and Devin are superfit dudes so on the rare occasion we stopped I used it to catch my breath.

Devin skiing into the white abyss. You can just make out Aaron as a black dot at the bottom.

Devin skiing into the white abyss. Aaron is the black dot at the bottom.

 

 

Another Sunny Day

Sometimes things just don’t work out. There’s a classic couloir I’ve been watching all season waiting for conditions to line up and I was sure Monday was going to be the day.

Tysen and I left Joseph at 0230 and began the slog. Firm snow made for effortless skinning, a light breeze kept us cool, and with the world shrunk down to what’s in front of your headlamp you really have nothing to do but go fast. All these factors helped us make good time and we hit the alpine with the sun.

We hit the couloir’s apron and immediately knew we wouldn’t be skiing it today. The past few days’ warm sun had baked the couloir’s rock walls, filling the gut with mashed potatoes. Ugh. I knew there would be a little, but didn’t expect this much. So we slogged on and hunted for a plan b.

Tysen booting up with an endless terrain backdrop

Tysen booting up with an endless terrain backdrop

Tysen skiing nature's groomer

Tysen skiing nature’s groomer

Bummer we didn’t get our objective, but still had a great day out.

Corn’s In

Tysen and I headed up to Dug Peak (Peak 8585) on Saturday to check out a couloir, unfortunately the chute was a little firm for our liking but we found some good corn on the south side of Dug Peak.

Some of the locals were trying to snake our line.

Some of the locals were trying to snake our line.

Tysen laying down some GS turns in the sun

Tysen laying down some GS turns in the sun

DugTysen2Even though our main objective was canned we were happy with the great corn skiing.

 

Hurwal Divide East

East side of Hurwal. Skied the bowl in the upper left

East side of Hurwal. Skied the mostly hidden bowl in the upper right

You get an awesome view of Hurwal Divide from the Imnaha highway, and every time I see it I think of how good the skiing must be up there. At 9,776′ the northern peak of the divide is the seventh highest in Oregon, which sweetens the pot a bit.

Ran across a set of tracks which I can only guess are   wolverine. Anybody with a better eye ID these tracks?

Ran across a set of tracks which I can only guess are wolverine. Can anybody with a better eye ID these tracks?

 

WolverineTracks2

Views were good as usual. Lots of ski terrain out there

Views were good as usual. Lots of ski terrain out there

Sacajawea looking good

Sacajawea looking good

The skiing was pretty good. The first 100' was rock hard, then turned to a few inches of enjoyable pow for the rest of the 2500' descent

The skiing was pretty good. The first 100′ was rock hard, then turned to a few inches of enjoyable pow for the rest of the 2500′ descent

 

 

 

 

Alpine Cruise

Took advantage of the clear skies and went for a walk in the alpine last Saturday. A lot of naturals out there on all aspects and a thin rain crust all the way up to 8800′ where I topped out. Good skiing conditions in protected areas above 7000′. I got a couple shooting cracks on wind slabs failing at the crust layer and easily got them to run on test slopes.

A few pics of the carnage from the last cycle.

WLBavy

WLBavy2

WLBavy3

The views made up for the ugly avy debris

The views made up for the ugly avy debris