Mark H and Conor H had dropped in from the low notch along Grizzly peak’s W ridge last year after a visit to the area via the N couloir on Urses Minor, so on this day we decided to see what this line was all about.  Jeff M, Joey V and I headed up what is now becoming a very familiar climb: teddy bear trees.  This was one of my first tours in the Pass on ski’s, rocking a very skinny pair of Kastle’s with Silveretta 404’s and a pair of TR12’s, all very second hand but a welcome change to slogging around the mountains with a snowboard on my back and a pair of snowshoes on my feet.   Face shots if I remember correctly.  The climb seems just as arduous now as it did then, steep and unrelenting until you crest out on top of  “frequent flyer”, a super scary slidepath that falls directly to the most commonly used track up the Connaught Creek drainage.  I have yet to ski it.

We skin up the bench that lead to the West face and push up the thinly veiled suncrust on skins, then switch to some alpine wallowing  in facets  and scattered rocks.

Upon cresting the ridge, a short skin to the NW brings us to the notch, and after chopping through the cornice we have what seems to be a viable entrance.  The next notch  20 feet above us looks like it goes as well, but is a bit more of a small hanging ramp feature, so we stick with what we have.

Joey and Jeff heading West along the ridge.

Jeff drops in first and jump turns down through the rocky choke, heading out right as the run opens up to the glaciers to avoid the open crevasses we know are on our left, hidden in the low light.

Jeff M droppin'.

We carefully make our way down through the flat light until above the final steep rollover, peppered with some cliffs and rocks straight down, but which I remember can be bypassed on the right.

Joey having some fun in the rocks.

The skiing was fine, really nice powder, and as we skinned towards our chosen exit (thru Sifton/little Sifton col) away from this “hidden” gem, I’m sure we were all stealing glances back at our line of today, lines of the past, and lines of the future.  What a zone!

Myself skinning out toward Sifton col. photo Joey Vosburgh

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