>The Caribou Mountains on the west side of Palisades Reservoir are somewhat remote by skiing standards; simply due the lack of plowed roads leading into the range. However, these mountains have been a long time snowmobiling destination for many folks in eastern Idaho. So why not access the skiable terrain via snowmachine? Sounds like a great way to explore some pretty cool peaks in the winter time! Unethical? Maybe to some, but not for me. I’m not out to prove anything to anyone, i just want to go skiing with my buddies…
I noticed some promising terrain in the Tag Alder Creek drainage a few weeks ago while looking at some maps of the area. Turbo, Ricado and I did the rodeo ride; one sled driver with two skiers in tow. It’s a whole lot like water skiing! We parked the sled about a half mile up Tag Alder Creek after we got it stuck a few times and figured we were pretty close to the peak we wanted to ski. Well, the fog, clouds and light snow didn’t help us in identifying where we really were, so we started skinning up the east side of the canyon thinking we would cross our ski slope at some point. Well, as the fog moved down, and the clouds floated in and out, we realized that we still had a ways to go before reaching our peak of choice. We peeled the skins and skied back to the valley floor and then started up canyon toward the peak.
Long story short, we skinned to the top of Peak 7950 which dominates the forks of Tag Alder Creek. We then skied down the north face. It was 1350 vertical feet of untracked, deep powder ( a little heavy) back down into Tag Alder Creek. We did not have enough time to do another lap so we headed back to the sled and saddled up for another rodeo ride out. I drove on the way out and could hear lots of whooping and hollering from the boys in tow as they skied it up behind the sled carving big high speed turns all the way back to the truck!
There is a lot of quality ski terrain in Tag Alder Creek and is a place i’m sure we will visit again. I forgot my camera, so no photos from me this time.