Today Mike, Chris and I decided to try to catch a weather window and ski the north glacier of Popes Peak. North aspects have been holding great snow and out of all the glaciers in the area Popes has looked the best all season for coverage. When we got to the O’Hara parking lot and met Mark and Matt who where looking to ski Birth Canal Couloir and we all ended up heading up the road together.

Mark and Matt preparing to climb the fan of Birth Canal

We parted ways after skinning around the shoulder and skinned along the moraines until reaching the benched glacier looker’s left of the main north glacier. We decided to try accessing the Col through some rock backs looker’s left of the main route and although it worked ok the standard route is probably a bit faster and has less exposure. All three of us climbed the unnamed peak between Whyte and Popes and skied from the highpoint, hitting several rocks until reaching the Col. From there we skied the run in two sections. The snow was outstanding and outside of a little debris in the middle it was just about perfect. After regrounding at the bottom we skied down the rolling flats, put on the skins and found a nice spot to watch the guys ski down Birth Canal.

Mike skinning under the summit of Popes Peak

To end the day we skinned around the shoulder and out via Narao Trees which skied way better than I thought for 1pm. You’d punch through once and a while but I was expecting something closer to an iso snowpack. Even O’Hara road skied very good for early afternoon.

The north glacier run we skied center of picture

We saw several loose snow avalanches coming out of steep unskiable solar terrain mid morning and there was a small isolated crown in the glacier run of Popes. By the time we went around the corner back to Narao Trees the solar slopes had released a fair share of rollers. Another party of 2 topped out on the looker’s left Narao couloir as well but we didn’t wait around to hear how it went.

Chris getting some turns near the glacier toe
Skiing the Birth Canal

Looking back at another survived run

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