Ski Mountaineering

Mt Powell
May 24-25, 2008

Alvin Walter

Scott Bornheimer and Isaac ? joined me to climb and ski/snowboard (for Isaac) Mt Powell. There are three high points that all claim to be Mt Powell and by climbing two on Saturday solo and one on Sunday with Scott I was able to be assured that I got the real thing.

After hiking by Lake Sabrina, we were able to start skiing near the far end of Blue Lake and the snow was in good condition with an even solid base under a couple inches of corn.

We found a nice rock outcrop at the upper end of Baboon Lakes where we set up camp. Scott decided to spend some time with Isaac on a nearby peak where they got in some nice turns while I sauntered toward Powell. Sunset Lake was 95% frozen except for the open water around the edges that was as blue as the sky.

The terrain just rolled right up to the base of the Powell Couloir that was only half full; so, I had to scramble up the loose rock and scree to the nearby summit points. Due to the long shadows that filled the couloir and bowls, the return skiing was on frozen snow that was fast and actually quite fun.

The campsite was spectacular as the near full moon rose above a ridge to light the valley we were in. By morning we were fresh to head for the peak again on a well set up snow base. Sunset Lake was well frozen and provided a nice straight across shortcut. At the top of the couloir, we headed across the plateau to the west high point and savored the fine views of the many high peaks all around us.

Skiing back down was in fine spring corn conditions. At camp, we took a nice relaxed lunch then packed to head out. It was another fine weekend of climbing and skiing in one of the finest mountain ranges in the World!


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