Couloir Hunting On Mt. Pilchuck

Post by blogger | February 1, 2017      

Backcountry touring is fabulous in the Pacific Northwest now. I’ve been having too much fun skiing, and haven’t put up many trip reports. Here’s one to change that.

Last weekend Jeff, Jameson, and Tim invited me to ski on Mt. Pilchuck. Pilchuck is one of the closest peaks to Seattle, but I’ve somehow never skied it. Although it’s near the metropolis, it still holds lots of PNW adventure. We carried our skis through the woods, and cramponed up steep water ice. Pilchuck rewarded us with solitude, vertiginous lines, and good snow.

Awesome views from the summit.

Awesome views from the upper peak.

After a bit of dirt walking, we started right into the meat of the first couloir.

After booting up the chute, we enjoyed skinning in beautiful light up to the top.

After booting up the chute, we enjoyed skinning in beautiful light up to the top.

Skiing of the top. It's a little hard to see in this photo, but in the distance you can see the skyscrapers of Seattle outlined against Puget Sound.

Skiing off the top. It’s a little hard to see in this photo, but in the distance you can see the skyscrapers of Seattle outlined against Puget Sound.

Dropping into our second couloir of the day. We were psyched to have found some nice snow.

Dropping into our second couloir of the day. We were psyched to find good snow.

Jeff finding some nice snow, 3 fingers peak behind.

Jeff finding some nice snow. 3 Fingers Peak behind.

Jump turns and water ice in the crux of 3rd couloir of the day.

Jump turns and water ice in the crux of 3rd couloir of the day.

Jeff put together a video about our spicey day:

Pilchuck 1-29-17 from Jeff Rich on Vimeo.


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9 Responses to “Couloir Hunting On Mt. Pilchuck”

  1. Jason D February 1st, 2017 10:52 am

    Finding awesome skiing in your backyard might be the best feeling ever. When you get that snowmachine, bring it to dertown, I’ve got some backyard couloirs to show you.

  2. Dan February 1st, 2017 12:43 pm

    I wonder what are you all carrying in those huge backpacks… this was a one-day trip, right?

  3. Lou2 February 1st, 2017 2:52 pm

    Airbag rucksacks and this is not 500 yards from a gasthaus. Something like that, anyway. Lou

  4. Jim February 1st, 2017 5:15 pm

    Used to be a ski area there.

  5. shawn February 1st, 2017 6:10 pm

    really glad to see some skiing trip reports here again! More of this please 🙂

  6. Dan February 1st, 2017 7:58 pm

    Sweet shots Louie!

    & Jim, love the history!

  7. Louie III February 1st, 2017 8:15 pm

    We brought crampons and axes, which turned out to be necessary. That and airbags account for lots of the bulk of our packs.

  8. ZachW February 1st, 2017 11:11 pm

    Looks like a good time, Louie! Better give the readers what they want: more ski TRs… I guess that means I’ll see you this weekend?

    Also, I vote “airbag pack” should be an acceptable anti-spam answer 🙂

  9. Eric Steig February 2nd, 2017 6:57 am

    This reminds me of another local close-to-town secret — Mt. Cloudburst, right in the middle of the valley between Squamish and Whistler. You should check it out, Louie!

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