Northwest Couloir Climb

By:  Sam
December 7, 2011

Allen, making some careful turns on the extremely variable snow up high.

Notice the glaze on the snow, super sharp edges were quite helpful in places.

We made a few more turns in the sun before crossing back over to the north side of the mountain.

At this point it was about 2:30 and the sun is fully down by 4, so we boogied down the White Salmon with the goal of crossing the heinous avi debris in the valley while daylight remained.

The snow was, in all honesty, quite awful. Two or three pow turns would give way to a turn on hard ice followed by a ballance-shaking turn in thick crust. Exhausting.

As we started to climb out of the valley, alpenglow hit Shuksan.

and as we transitioned at the car, the last bit of light slipped off of Shuksan. We’d managed to used every minute of daylight on our adventure, and not a minute more.

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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

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