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Wing Ridge, Wallowa Mountains

Wing Ridge, Wallowa Mountains

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

January 22 – January 25, 2015

A trip with 11 fellow peakers into the Wallowa Moutains of Northeast Oregon through Wing Ridge Ski Tours.

Pre Day 1 – January 21st

We took off after work and headed to Eastern Oregon. On the way we saw a bad ass wolf (maybe a coyote… not as cool) feasting on some kill (maybe scavenging) in the road. Spirit animal or #wolfselfie? We got into our hotel accommodations after midnight and headed to bed for the short amount of rest we could get ourselves.

Day 1 – January 22nd

After signing our waivers in Joseph, OR with a pleasant man working at Wallowa Alpine Huts, we drove into the Salt Creek Snow park, arriving around 11am. We packed up our gear, cracked some champagne and headed out on the skin track.

Salt Creek Sno Park

Conditions were easy on the way up. There was a mellow skin track which must have been set by a guide previously. The track led right to our hut. At the time, only one other had traveled the same track, a good sign in hopes we’d be one group of few on the ridge. We arrived at the Wing Ridge Huts around 12:30pm.

Wing Ridge Hut Trip

The accommodations were as expected. We had a cooking hut, 2 bunk huts, a toilet area, a wood splitting area and a sauna hut. Each bunk had room for 6. We were stocked with a healthy supply of fire and cooking provisions.

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After settling in, the first group of peakers headed up the ridge around 1/1:30pm. We didn’t take the most direct route up, but it was pleasant being in trees without having to bushwhack like we often do in the Cascades.

Wing Ridge Hut Trip

Shawn pushed the ridge almost to the peak between Salt Creek Bowl and 1st Bowl. David forgot his GPS at the hut, so we didn’t track this mission. We dropped into 1st Bowl on a northern aspect. I got first drop, almost getting taken down by some rocks just below the surface of snow, right near the entrance on the wind-blown ridge. Turns in the bowl were great. Not blower, but deep enough to make us all yell out with stoke. We took the north face of 1st Bowl into the tree line below, and headed back to the hut system. Despite a short day of turns, we were ready to eat.

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Dinner followed. Our group had night one of cooking duties. We cooked chicken stir-fry. The crew was greatly satisfied with our meal. We cooked way too many noodles, but hey, we didn’t leave anyone hungry. Washing dishes without a proper wash basin proved to be interesting. The crew wrapped the night up with a game of Oh Hell. We all got a good nights rest in our toasty huts.

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The Slot Couloir, Snoqualmie Pass

The Slot Couloir, Snoqualmie Pass

Friday, March 21st, 2014

March 21st, 2014 the #peakoftheweek crew decided it was great conditions to tackle The Slot Couloir on Snoqualmie Mountain. We woke up early trying to beat as much sun as we could on the skin up. The conditions could not have been better. There seemed to have been a group that toured either earlier that morning or the day prior that got tracks before us, but throughout the whole day we saw no one. It was perfect and exactly what us office warriors needed. After a day of great pow turns in the sun, we headed for the best corn dogs on this earth. They were even better after a great day of touring. Hope you enjoy.

Filming: Brian Behrens & Shawn Bishop
Editing: Brian Behrens
Music: Mungo Jerry – “In The Summertime”
Recorded with GoPro Hero 3 + Black Edition

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Lunch stop

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Looking back up

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Exit notch

Crossing the South Fork

Rock Mountain, Stevens Pass

Rock Mountain, Stevens Pass

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Last Friday, February 28th, 2014 we set out on a splitboard tour up Rock Mountain off US2 in Washington. This was a first attempt for the #magicblack #peakoftheweek crew. The tour began with some mellow switchbacks, as most tours often do. After about 3 switchbacks we began a steep accent up a ridge near the middle basin of Rock Mountain. We observed a several wet slides that had happened within the last day or so. We kept as close to tree lines as we could, trying to avoid the wide open, steep faces. I’m not quite sure what came over me, but I blazed the steepest skin track I’ve been on to date.

Rock Mountain Tour - 02.28.2014

With hearts beating fast and breaths deep, we reached the top. The warm snow was quickly cooled as we lost daylight and winds picked up on the ridge we just ascended on. Selfies and beers were had before we suited up for a fun decent. The snow for about the first 2,000 yards was crusty on top, hard to make turns in, but seemed very stable. Once we got back to the steep open faces, the crust layer softened and the turns got way more enjoyable.

Rock Mountain Tour - 02.28.2014

Overall it was a great tour. Next time we have to arrive earlier at the trailhead if we want to make it all the way to Rock Mountain… we have our eye set on you buddy 😉

Rock Mountain Tour - 02.28.2014