Northwest Couloir Climb

By:  Sam
December 7, 2011

Since it feels like it hasn’t snowed since the last ice age, and all recent ski reports I could gather were not encouraging, Allen, Lee and I decided to head out for a non-ski-centric tour on Shuksan

We left the parking lot at the ski area at ~8am and made good time down into the valley. I took us on a high tack across the valley, a stupid route choice that cost us at least half an hour and and quite a bit of energy as we did battle with hundreds of yards of nasty avi debris.

After crossing the lower White Salmon, we were finally on smooth consistent snow. It was consistently very very hard.
Lee and I crossing below the Northwest Couloir (which has an uncanny resemblance to THIS line) just before transitioning.

Lower down on the route, the snow was firm but very skiable and we entertained thoughts of skiing the line.


This was the most fun I’d had climbing since a fun day on rock over the summer. The snow was “hero” climbing snow, perfect neve.

Things got steeper and quite a bit more icy as we got higher. Thoughts of skiing turned to thoughts of taking out the rope.

Continue Reading: 1 2 3 Next »

Read about the author:   Sam


  1. Harvey44
    wrote on December 8th, 2011 at 11:11 am  

    Anxious moments? Beautiful photos.

  2. Greg
    wrote on December 8th, 2011 at 12:06 pm  

    looks like a fun day out! your description of the snow surface during the ski descent reminds me of some misadventrues on mt. washignton ;)

  3. I'm a crappy skier
    wrote on December 8th, 2011 at 3:56 pm  

    The last two photos are $. Just beautiful

  4. icelanticskier
    wrote on December 8th, 2011 at 8:00 pm  

    too firm to ski?! yer boot toes were hidden in it! you guys been out west too long;) getting soft, hehe

    nice report


  5. powhounddd
    wrote on December 8th, 2011 at 9:21 pm  

    An exhausting adventure on variable conditions sure beat a day in the office! Great photos. Thank you.

    Q: Is it Nortwest or Northwest couloir tho’?

  6. enjoyed
    wrote on December 13th, 2011 at 1:53 pm  

    thanks for the report fellas – so different than the east and fun to dream of

Please consider visiting our sponsors.

Leave a Reply

(no login required)

Check for email notifications of new comments (valid email required)        

Stay in touch: Click here to follow us on Twitter. Click here to subscribe for updates to be delivered via RSS. Click here to become a fan on Facebook. Click here to read and share real time weather observations. Learn more over at the account. It's awesome. We promise!