Copper Mountain


A great day of backcountry skiing nets everything from powder to slush. And big smiles.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Bob and I have skied Copper together many times, but for some reason had not done so this year. So to make up for it, we had one of the best days ever. This shot shows Bob on top, dwarfed by Copper's immense cornices. We got beat to the top, though, so those tracks belong to another group of skiers.

Bob on the summit

I had never skied the north face, and looking off the top it seems a little intimidating. But I summoned my courage and jumped into an untracked gully under the big left-hand cornice.

North face of Copper

Here's a better look at the gully and my tracks. The snow was starting to settle in the sun, but it was still pretty fun.


John's tracks

Then some more slogging back to the summit.

From there, we had great views. This shows Bull Trout Point, a peak I snowshoed earlier this winter.

Bull Trout Point
A couple weeks after Bull Trout, I snowshoed this peak just to the north, Cape Horn Mountain. Cape Horn Mountain


I had had enough climbing Copper for one day, but Bob still had one more run in him. So while he prepared to jump off the cornice again, I took pictures. It's only about a 4' drop, but it still looks scary due to the consequences of blowing it.

Bob steel's his nerves

But he didn't blow it, and was off.

Bob going for it

He had explained his strategy to me- he wanted to board off the nose of the ridge, but he knew there was a cliff to avoid- a cliff you can't see from above. When he hit the line and suddenly disappeared, I could only assume he had intended to drop into oblivion.

A few moments later he appeared at the bottom...

Bob about to drop in
...and I could go back to staring at the countryside. This is the Sawtooths and the White Clouds in the distance. Notice the lack of clouds. Or haze. The Zimbabwean delegation
The air was so still that I could clearly hear the conversations of the folks who had arrived at the other end of the summit ridge. It turns out that their 'British' accents were from Zimbabwe! The Zimbabwean delegation

By the time Bob slugged his way back to the top for the third time, it was time to harvest corn.

As we neared the bottom, the corn turned to deep slush.

And to top off our day, when we got back to the car we discovered that the road had avalanched, so we had to drive home the long way through Ketchum. Oh well- it was worth it.

Tracks on the south face

Mr. Natural Home | 2008 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski