Chief Joseph

Emily's favorite part of backcountry skiing, bushwacking up a dry mountainside with a heavy load.

I’ve been wanting to ski Chief Joseph Mountain since the first time I visited Joseph. Chief Joseph looks over the town of Joseph and taunts me everyday I walk out the door. Conditions turned me around a couple of weeks ago, today I was determined. The early bird doesn’t get avalanched, so Emily and I were out the door at 4 AM ready to tackle one of the many chutes on The Chief.

At 7,000 feet we could finally ditch our hiking boots for ski boots and skins.

Heading to our objective.

Emily heading up the hill with Wallowa Lake in the background

Unfortunately, Chief Joseph looked like a battle ground. Some rain and warming events really did a number on the steeper slopes

Wet slide carnage

We pressed on, determined to find a clean chute. Even though things were'nt looking promising

We never did find a chute that wasn't stuffed with debris, but we did get some turns in.

The corn snow skied awesome

Emily enjoying the spring conditions.


Even though The Chief shut us down today, it still makes a great back drop for Joseph

The snow is slipping away fast and I’m afraid this may be my last day of the season. Work starts again on Monday, and I’m not sure if I’ll get another chance to get out again. I hope everyone enjoyed the photos and trip reports, and be sure to check back in November.

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