>Our own private Idaho??


The bulk of the East Idaho Off-Piste Crew headed into the depths of the Lemhi Range. We arrived on the coattails of yesterday’s storm which deposited many inches of light density powder! Light winds and near bluebird skies made the bitter cold temps bearable.
As we made our way into the north bowl of Long Canyon, Chuteski, Wade S. and Andy H. had large grins as they feasted for the first time upon the craggy alpine peaks which form the bowl. Turbo and I pointed out various possibilities for the day.

The decision to explore the western most chutes and couloirs on the north face of 10,424′ lead us to some fun and exposed steep scrambling and rock climbing with skis on our backs.

As we made our way higher, other massive Lemhi Peaks appeared in the sky around us. Clouds drifted in and out on the breathe of light winds. Thin snow over smooth rock kept our attention in a few sections.

We took turns in the exiting chimney;granting us passage onto a steep ramp-like area. Numb fingers, even with gloves on and frozen noses could not reduce the size of our smiles!

A short leftward traverse above cliffs deposited us onto the northwest ridge of the peak. An easy 20 minutes of uphill work and we soaked up the views from the summit of 10,424′.

A short down climb from the summit to our skis followed by some ridge skiing granted us access to the steep and deep couloir on the west end of the north face. Deep powder turns sluffed into each other and the walls closed in as we descended.

Wade found a hole and did a nice endo over the tips of his skis! Andy and i dug around in the deep snow for about 5 minutes before we located Wade’s rogue ski.

Our final turns down the apron where just as bountiful as our first turns. We traversed and rock skipped our way down into the depths of Long Canyon and returned to the awaiting sleds. Our motley crew arrived mostly unharmed and missing minor amounts of ski base.

Wade S. having fun in the couloir

Wade S. having fun at the bottom of the couloir!

I am happy to finally have some success in Long Canyon. The peak is beautiful, our line was incredible, and my time with Wade, Chuteski, Turbo, Ricardo, and Andy could not have been any better!

I always laugh when i hear people say… “there are no friends on a powder day.”

Why do i laugh you ask? Because, i have friends on powder days!

-Dean Lords


12 responses to “>Our own private Idaho??

  1. >You say you are "happy to finally have some success in Long Canyon". I say each sojourn has been a "success"…. maybe not in reaching a peak or skiing a couloir, but in adding to our understanding of the area; it's access, the terrain, the snowpack…each important steps in setting us up for days like today.It's a beautiful and inspiring area and we are fortunate each and every time we enter there.With that said…it was GREAT to put it all together today!!!

  2. >Marc -Thanks for the shout out! The Lem's are inspiring us to keep coming back, not to mention teaching us a lot! Definately variable depths above treeline, our test pits were on average 130cm at approx 9,500' but extremely variable in wind effected zones. Below treeline, let's say 8,800' i would suggest approx 90cm, but again variable depending on aspect of the slope.

  3. >Great stuff guys!! I'm stoked to see some powder after that stretch of warm weather and equally stoked you got to see over the other side! are conditions pretty stable up high over there?

  4. >We missed you on Wednesday, Matt.Wes -I too was excited to look over the other side of the mountain and see the Lost River Range! As for stability. We experienced a bit of everything, some very stable areas, some areas effected by burried wind slab over top of deep facets, and some recent sluffs on really steep and cliffy slopes from the recent snow. I think there is a lot of pretty safe terrain and snow but there is enough variability above treeline to merit caution and good evaluation skills. Did that answer your question?

  5. >Thanks Dean! The new snow and regular wind have made things pretty interesting all over. We've seen and started some nasty slides and they're all related to wind loading on ridges.

  6. >Be safe out there, Wes! I'd be psyched to see some of the stuff you guys are skiing in the LRR if you don't mind sharing. That place is just so inspiring.

  7. >I've been so busy shooting up the south Pio's I haven't paid much attention to the LRR yet this year. The easy access and great conditions have pretty much spoiled me. It's been a great "A" season and "B" season is just about to start!!

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