What do you do when a group of skilled local skiers ask you to arrange a custom Ski Mountaineering Camp for them? You say yes please and thank you!
The course took place last weekend at the Williams Peak Hut where there is still 5 feet of snow on the ground and much more in the terrain above. Despite a dismal weather forecast, we lucked out with sunny skies, cold snow on north aspects, and corn on the sunnier slopes. Good stability allowed us to go just about anywhere – which is exactly what we did.
After a sweltering hike into the hut, we took a “warm up” run in the steep north facing chutes off of skier’s summit. We were pleasantly surprised to find chalky, edgeable dry snow where we expected crust. An early morning the next day had us skiing into Profile Basin on softening corn. After practicing ice axe use and self arrest techniques, we divided into groups gunning for the prominent couloirs near Thompson Peak. The next day, we crossed several high passes and toured into Goat Creek during a circumnavigation of peak 10,084. On the final day, we went over more rope work and anchor building before splitting up. One group put rappel skills to good use pioneering a new line off of Skiers Summit, while the other group nailed a perfect corn descent before finishing off with Big Fatty.
One of the best things about skiing in the backcountry is that there are always new places to go and new skills to add to your quiver. We pride ourselves on helping skiers of every ability to acheive both.