1-23-2011 Gash Point

January 24, 2011 at 21:01 | Posted in Backcountry skiing the Bitterroots | 4 Comments

Colin and I headed up to the Gash Point trailhead and managed to break out the road again. We had plans to head for Sky Pilot for the day but faced with high winds, snow, and low visibility we opted for a big vertical day at Gash. After two runs on the south side with the first quite good and the second quite windblown, we opted for the tree triangle route up and took another 4 runs there. All in we managed to ski 11,500 vertical in 9 hours. While Colin was feeling good and ready for more, I was fatigued. I cut a small wind slab avalanche on a rollover in the trees and managed to have the head cam rolling capturing  the trigger moment and the rippling of the snowpack at my feet. It being small and I was skiing fast in anticipation, I was off the slab just after it released and the lower run was quite moderate. In reviewing the footage it looked again like other slides I have triggered where the bottom of the slide fails allowing the upper snow to escape the tension of itself and its own internal cohesion.http://www.youtube.com/user/johnlehrman?feature=mhum. Evaluating snowpack, ski terrain and choice, ski style and survivability makes for a complex set of circumstances on a ski day in moderate hazard with an increasing trend.  Of course the more I ski in these conditions and on avalanche terrain, the more I learn about stability and good/poor choices. Again thanks to Colin for today’s photos.

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  1. Haven’t poked around in SS yet this year. Still exploring Storm Cr. and the Ranger Peak area which would be a great link up to Sky Pilot. Oh the possibilies!

    • cool sounds like fun

  2. Well done! Thats a big day of yo-yoing. I bet Sky Pilot is in great condition right now…

    • Jeff…how’s it going this winter? Have you been skiing SS creek? I was thinking about that country from atop Bass Pk north a couple weeks ago. What a filled in Bitterroot!


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