(Note: The YouTube playlist above contains 10 short videos that showcase some of the Bogus Basin Backcountry).
The backcountry skiing around Bogus Basin is a kind of like the Seinfeld episode, “The Strike”. Sometimes it is absolutely stunning and other days it can be a bit ugly. The playlist above illustrates this point.
Some years/months/days, you just have to cut your losses and move on to deeper snow. But when the weather gods are in our favor and feeling like covering the face of the Bogus backcountry with some of that beautiful white stuff, then the skiing and riding can be spectacular.
In this post, I am sharing some of my knowledge that I’ve gleaned over the years as I’ve enjoyed the Bogus Basin backcountry. The two primary areas that I enjoy most are the Dry Creek Basin area and Mores Mountain. Although small in acreage, Bob’s Knob has some fun routes and is the most accessible of the backcountry options. In addition, there is the Clear Creek drainage, below the cat track from the “front side”, to the Pine Creek chair. Finally, there is an area that I have not skied in myself, that I refer to as “No Man’s Land”. This area lies between the ski area boundary below The Triangle, and to the side of Majestic. It is bordered on the north by Mores Mountain.
The total skiable acreage of these areas is well over 2,000 acres, and they offer sustained vertical routes from 500 feet to over 1,500 feet. The Dry Creek basin area alone is roughly 1,000 acres and although popular with the backcountry crowds, there are lots of lines in there that seldom, if ever get skied. Mores Mountain offers virtually 360 degrees of backcountry, that includes everything from the rowdy terrain thru some of the rocks and chutes, wide open bowls, tree skiing and some gentle low angle terrain with minimal hazards.
Although fun to explore and ski in, all of these areas are truly backcountry. There are rocks, cliffs, confusing gullies and drainages, terrain traps and avalanche zones. These areas should be treated with respect. You should always travel with a partner. At a minimum you should have the required avalanche gear of a beacon, probe and shovel. And remember: If you don’t know, then don’t go!
I am providing this information to help with route planning and terrain education. I view this type of data as a valuable tool as we prepare to ski and ride in the backcountry. Remember the “two face” analogy at the beginning of this post. It does have a deeper meaning in this context. Namely, the “face” of the Bogus Basin backcountry is very fickle. If varies dramatically from season to season, month to month and even day to day. In some seasons a given route is beautiful powder, and in others it is the bushwhack from hell.
This Google Earth file contains a series of overlays that outline where these areas are, and classifies them as “Safe”, or “Increased Hazards”. The primary factors in establishing the classifications involve average slope angles, presence of cliffs/rocks and gullies/terrain traps.
The following Google Earth file contains a set of routes that I have skied. Most were recorded with a GPS unit and uploaded, and some were created in Google Earth from my memory of skiing them.