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Skiing Peak 9529 in the Soldier Mountain Backcountry

The original plan for this weekend was to head for the Lost Rivers with a group from Boise and make attempts on Donaldson, Breitenbach or Lost River Peak.  The weather didn’t really cooperate and we decided to all pursue our own backup plans.

For Greg and I it was the backcountry above Soldier Mountain Ski Area.  We decided to just make a day trip out of hit, and so I was up at 4AM and we were heading out of Boise at 5AM.  We were on the trail, (actually one of the ski area access roads), at 7:15AM.  The ski area itself only has a few snow patches left, but at about the 7,200 foot level you start hitting consistent snow, and from 7,500 up there is still a good base.

We decided that our primary target would be “Peak 2”, or 9529.  There was about 5-6 inches of fresh snow on top of what has become a rock hard base.  Had we been on top at sunrise, instead of starting the climb at sunrise we would have had light powder.  As it was, we had soft powder that was starting to get a little “sticky”.  This didn’t negatively impact the skiing, but it did make for several small point release slides in the area.  Our assessment of the avalanche hazard was that the risk was very low.  The only thing moving at all was the small amount of fresh snow on a base that had been firmed up with some great freeze/thaw cycles.  As can be seen in the video, the conditions made for excellent spring skiing.

We hit the Peak 2 summit and took a descent route skiers left on the main summit block.  We then decided to ski the cirque area between Peak 1 and 2.  This area has series of small cliffs, chutes and bowls.  The video focuses primarily on some “mountaineering” practice and a couple of ski runs in this area.  I had a good wreck at the top of the first run, and so I made up my mind to get a second chance and do it right.  Sometimes it is nice to have a second chance in life.

 

GPS Data and map of the Peak 2 adventure:

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Snow report by Snow Report & Snow Service Denver

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