Drift Peak 13,900′ Valentine Face 6/25/2017 – Spicy Steeps on the East Side

A few weeks ago I was on Quandary and noticed how much snow was on Drift Peak’s eastern aspect. With the hot temps of late I’ve been searching for skiable lines. I figured Drift would be in and I’d keep it local and save money on gas. Been wanting to get on this aspect of Drift for a long time so now seemed like the best chance. We met at 5:30 and had some coffee. The freeze the night before was decent so we weren’t in much of a rush. We got to the trailhead and were greeted by about 40 mountain goats. They’re so awesome and the little ones look like cotton balls. We snapped some pics and felt bad for the owners of the Landcruiser.  We made our way up the valley dealing with the willows on the hiker’s right. Finally we got to a view of the line and it was clear that the direct option was a runnelled mess. We could see a pinner couloir that looked good, so we made for this new objective. Ever since I was in the Sierra my sense of scale is totally off. The pinner was only a few feet wide and over 60 degrees. However when we got to the base of it another wider option presented itself. It was still steep and we measured it at 55 degrees, though it averaged in the low 50s and high 40s. We booted our way up perfect snow and dropped our gear at the top of the line. From there we tagged the summit about 50′ vertical above us.

We made our way back to the snow and got ready to ski. I dropped in and tested and cleaned the snow out a bit. Then enjoyed some steep turns set up for shots. We skied the upper portion and made our way a cross a narrow ledge to the second part of the descent. This section was in the high 40s and had a bunch of rocks to negotiate. Below that we pieced together snow to get in a decent amount of vertical. On the way down we were whistled at by a hiker. He did it to warn us of the dangers of the snow. Come on dude a whistle is for an emergency only. We don’t need people that think they are monitors breaking the silence of the hills so you can save us from ourselves. Pretty sure you should mind your own fucking business in the backcountry.

Well done Ally this was a steep line and you skied it really well.

Leave a Reply