Friday, April 4, 2014

Mount Lewis North Couloir: Winter skiing with Spring Access!

Today Brian Drew and I drove north to check out how the storm snow was holding in the North Couloir on Mount Lewis.  As luck would have it even days after the recent dump we were able to drive all the way up into Sawmill Canyon to the Walker Lake trailhead.  You need something with 4WD but the drifts weren't too bad.  

After a gentleman's start, we were skinning away from the truck at 8:30am, able to put our skis on right away.  The snow was thin down low but we were able to poke our way through the trees and rock benches up higher keeping our skis on the whole time (or at least I did sporting my chewed up rock skis…Brian still has nice skis!)

It took us just a hair over 3 hours to skin the 3,500ft of vertical up to the ridge below the summit proper, which we forewent due to time, wind, and the fact that the snow was going to be getting even softer.  We were impressed at how high the sun is right now in early April and how much exposure this shot gets, as it is pretty wide and open.  

 We couldn' have timed it much better as some of the firmer snow was softening high in the chute as we cut a pretty steep skin track to keep the main line open for our turns.

After a bit of a snack we put out skins away and I took the first turns down the chute, amazed at how good the skiing actually was!  By the time I got to the bottom though my legs were jelly from making 1,500ft of turns in pretty sticky snow and got to take some shots here of Brian getting some too.

Staying close to our skin track were able to piece the descent together and only take our skis off once- not too bad!

Over and out for now…  looks like things are going to turn back into spring this coming week so it might be back to the corn skiing/rock climbing grind!

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