Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Skiing East Boulder Peak

Posted By on Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

It is always a great pleasure to get to ski in Boulder Creek Canyon, and this passed Sunday was no exception. With bluebird skies, we skinned to the entrance of the Mary Couloir and peered into the shady side.

Mary Couloir, not quite ready
  • JL
  • Mary Couloir, not quite ready

The rock in the initial choke was still exposed so we opted for the Goddess Chute a broader and more open run if no less steep. Plunging from the ridgeline at 9,370' to the base of Boulder Falls at 5,360', it is just shy of a 4,000' vertical perfect fall line run. The aesthetics are incredible with a rock lined cliff on the east and steep treed glades to the west; this line alternately rolls over steep 45 degree plus pitches and splits around rock islands allowing independent lines for multiple skiers.

The Upper Goddess Gully
  • JL
  • The Upper Goddess Gully
With its long approach and distance from any population center, the skiing from Boulder Ridge is a wonderfully lonely affair and we saw no recent evidence of skiers on the approach and none in the Goddess Chute or in the canyon until we reached the egress from the Lookout Chute. With fast traveling we were feeling fresh after the Goddess and headed upcanyon to the next bowl that drains the Mary and other couloirs. We skinned up the farthest one to the west, Jane Couloir until it narrowed down to no more than a climbers route.
Skinning Jane with Trapper in the Background
  • JL
  • Skinning Jane with Trapper in the Background
Five hundred vertical below the ridge still gave us about a 3,500' descent to a beautiful plunge pool in Boulder Creek. The Jane Couloir is quite wide and is a perfect steep concave pitch to where it exits the headwall.
Skiing Jane
  • JL
  • Skiing Jane
From there is rolls away into another short gully and then joins a broad avalanche path that delivers skiers right to the bank of the creek. Two exquisite runs and we still felt good; however knowing the trials of skiing out Boulder Canyon we headed out and found ourselves struggling up short slippery hills and schussing down steep trail pitches. We made it back to the car right after dark at 7:00 p.m. Tired and thirsty the beers we had been coveting tasted great and we slowly drove back to the Valley.
Another terrific 3,500 descent
  • JL
  • Another terrific 3,500' descent

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