Feb 3- Skiing Bass Peak North

February 17, 2010 at 00:09 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Almost two weeks ago, before I took off for a trip to BC and the Valhalla range, Don and I made a fabulous trip up Bass Creek to ski the massive east face of Bass Peak. Not for the undetermined the ten mile approach took us four hours and change at a steady pace. We skied the face in perfect snow with bright blue skies and had a decent snow pack for a change. From the bottom of the head of Kootenai Creek north we ascended pt 8285′ due east and bowl bounced our way back to the iconic Pt 8533′ and the tremendous run back on the north face to Bass Creek. We made it to the creek crossing below St Joe by dusk and skied the final miles out with headlamps. With 7500′ vertical and about 25 miles under our belt for the day we felt good about this long day in the northern Bitterroots. Starting with moderate terrain this tour kept getting more exciting and the final committing line into the heart of the north bowl topped out at 55 degrees for 200 vertical. Scary but stable, the steeps were running small sloughs. Since then the new snow and wind loading has put enough strain on the buried surface hoar layers that folks have been cutting slabs lose and almost getting into trouble out there. Keep it safe and spread out on steep ground, nothing worse than  multiple  burials in close proximity. Being at least 10-20 yds apart at all times in avy terrain will make a difference in not triggering a slide and with recovering slide victims.

Pt 8533' in Bass Creek drainage

Skiing SW across Bass Lake towards Bass Peak North 8752'

On the slopes above the lake

The north face of Bass Peak 8855'

Our first descent for the day, Bass Peak East

Glisse Bliss

First run- fun and moderate with great snow

The East Face photo courtesy Don Lange

The East Face photo courtesy Don Lange

Top of our second run pt 8285' photo-Don Lange

Looking back at Bass Peak East

Don Lange in it at pt 8285'

Johnny dropping in pt 8533' photo- Don Lange

Don Lange just below the 55 degree crux of pt 8533'

Don Lange below pt 8533' heading out to the trail 4:30 p.m.

Looking forward to another day in the mountains here. I am heading up Downing Mountain today Feb 17 to check on snow conditions after delivering a load of firewood to the lodge.

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