Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bull Trout Point

Heading up to the summit
From Michael's Photos
Michael invited me to tag along with him and his neighbor Chad up to Bull Trout Point on Saturday. Though he titled it backcountry skiing, I think winter climbing would prove a more accurate descriptor. The two of them were on tele-skis with skins, myself on snowshoes with my board strapped to my back.

The whole trip took an entire day. We left at 5:30 and didn't get back into town until after 7PM. We spent about 4 1/2 hours climbing and a little over 2 hours skiing/schlogging down. It was absolutely gorgeous above the treeline.

I've scraped Chad's trip summary off his blog at

We found the trailhead, got our stuff together and head out across the open meadow snowfields at about 6200 ft. [map]

The route.

Heading in across the snowfields.

We followed someone else’s snowshoe tracks through the woods and eventually found our way to the ridge and started ascending. We made it to the tree line and had a great view of the valley to the south.

Michael and Brent weaving through the trees. Brent’s snowboard made for some interesting navigation through the low-hanging branches.

The view toward Copper Mountain.

Michael and I scoping out the bowl.

Eventually, we made it to a steeper face on the ridge. Once we got up that, the hike was pretty mellow, following the sometimes narrow ridgeline. The wind on the ridge was blowing pretty hard and some large cornices had developed that were pretty cool to look at. As we got onto the ridge, the sun came out and we had blue skies for a while.

Michael and Brent heading up the ridge.

The beginning of the cornice.

Looking up the ridge toward one of the peaks we would traverse.

Brent on one of wind formations.

At one point, we got to a large wind drift that blocked the whole ridgeline. It was probably 6 or 7 ft. tall. We had to cut a path up it and after some stumbling and falling over we all eventually made it up.

Trying to get over the drift.

Looking into one of the north facing bowls.

Pink Sawtooth Granite and snow.

Heading up the ridge with the summit in sight.

Michael at the top (elevation 9000 ft. according to my watch/altimeter).

Summit shot.

Self portrait in my goggles.

After digging a pit and debating our route down, we dropped the face into the bowl. The snow was great. It had a breakable crust layer about 3 inches down that made for some burning quads. Still pretty fun though.

Our tracks down the face.

Eventually, we made it back down to the flats and had a nice 1.5 mile schlog out back to the car. We drove back to Boise just as it was getting dark having seen the sunrise and set in the mountains.

Hiking out through one of the burn areas.

Photo Albums:

View Chad's Photos

View Michael's Photos

(There's some great shots in here)