I have been wanting to explore some more of Idaho's lesser skied Backcountry. I use older guidebooks since it seems that people in the past were a little more into exploring and did some really cool traverses in the 70's that I love to read about.
I decided to head over to the Smoky Mountains north of SV. I picked up Chris very late after I forgot to set my alarm. We started about an hour and a half later than I wanted. It worked out pretty well and we got to the pull-out north of Baker Creek road at around 9 a.m. As we were getting our skis out, Chris Lundy and Simon Trautman pulled up behind us. We were going to have fun and they were going to go work.
We set out first and broke trail up to the bottom of the ridge and then Chris and Simon took over. We enjoyed our government sponsored skin track up to about 8200'. The Avy forecasters stopped to dig a pit and we continued on up to Elk Flats (8632). We continued to skin up the NE ridge. Chris and Simon caught up with us and broke the rest of the way to the summit. Chris R. started not feeling very well and waited below in a safe spot while I continued on to the summit. They skied down to the SE and I skied back down the east ridge to the nice open shots above Elk Flats. Turns from the top were NICE! Very deep for the time of the year. I wasn't expecting such great snow.
The open slopes above Elk Flats are only about 300'-400' of descent. But they are sweet. In the video below, I am the small speck enjoying December 4th knee deep powder!
Chris wasn't feeling well at all so we made one run and skied back out. I misjudged our traverse trajectory because of an awesome face that needed to be skied. Unfortunately, this put us at the top of the old clear cut. It was an awesome run of Class V survival skiing!
We got back and jumped in the Subaru, cranked the heater, and made our way back to town. We stopped at KB's and I devoured a regular sized burrito in about 10 minutes. I love that place! We are having a great start to this year!