backcountry skiing

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+16 16 votes

Fire and Fluff

Tyee Mountain is better known as a firefighter’s mountain than a skier's mountain. Twice in recent history it has erupted in flames when massive wildfires burned in the Entiat Valley. All that burning has opened up a lot of north-facing ground for powder skiing, making it an intriguing combination of ash and stash.
+14 14 votes

The Art of the Uptrack

With backcountry ski season now well underway, here's a refresher on uptracking from the WenatcheeOutdoor archives: Carving a masterful uptrack is an artist's work, and is also about safety, efficiency, snow analysis, scenic enjoyment, and more.

+24 24 votes

Chiwawa Mountain Psychoanalysis

“We’re going to get sick of all the questions,” Mike Rolfs jokes while we saddle-up the packs and start walking the Phelps Creek Trail toward Chiwawa Mountain. And he's right -- carrying skis on your pack on August 25th is a sure-fire conversation starter. But what about the skiing: Is it worth the trouble (and the weight) at this late date?
+15 15 votes

Rock-Mastiff-Howard Traverse

This time of year the problem with skiing isn't that there's a shortage of high snow, but that there's a shortage of low snow to access the high snow. Here's a tour that gets you to the snow fast and has a good ratio of skiing to carrying.
+7 7 votes

Wedge Mountain - The Backup Plan

The weekend ridge loop had been planned for a month. As the date neared, however, avalanche conditions were out of synch with our aspirations. Pulling the plug is hard ... which is why a good backup plan (like this relatively safe tour up Wedge Mountain) is an important safety trick. When needed, it gives you a safer stick to chase.

+16 16 votes

Stupor Sunday - Skiing Big Slide

This was run a few years ago but, if you missed it then, enjoy it now. On Super Sunday – the national day of overeating and overspectating -- two locals opt not to be counted among the couch potatoes. They go big on the big day ... and find themselves wishing they'd stuck to the couch. 

+10 12 votes

Rogers Pass Skiing

Over the last twenty years, Rogers Pass (between Revelstoke and Golden, BC) has emerged as a ski-touring destination of international renown. In the early 1980s, 500 backcountry skiers visited each year. Now 20,000 skiers/year visit. This winter 12 of us from Wenatchee made the pilgrimage.

+6 10 votes

Miller Peak – Awesome or Awful?

On a weekend threatening to deliver woeful conditions, two skiers refuse to give up on winter and go in search of the wonderful. On Miller Peak they find both what is threatened and what they search for. By day's end, they ...
+6 10 votes

Mt. Mastiff via Merritt Lake

This ski or snowshoe ascent of Mount Mastiff  (el: 6,741’) climbs through old-growth forests that are an interesting mix of Eastside and Westside trees. Eventually you cut tracks along northeast ridge with wide open avalanches to your left and a precipitous freefall down into the Little Wenatchee River valley to your right.

+6 6 votes

Merritt Lake and Peak 6,125'

A good early-season trip that climbs quickly  and efficiently to snow level. The terrain up top is mellow in pitch and the forest is fairly open, making this a nice tour for less-experienced skiers in early winter when the boards might need to be carried up the lower, steeper slopes. When the lower, steeper slopes are snow-covered, intermediate skills are required.