I usually avoid skiing the terrain trap gully/drainage features found on Observation Peak but with the sun out, inversion strong, danger rating low and having skied close by several times this month, we decided to have a go at them.

On Nov 30th we skied the looker’s left drainage area starting at a chute which I decided to exit after finding a thicker hard slab as you got close to the convex exit. Luckily the low point of the drainage provided better turns and we used it to ski pretty much all the way out.

Anna skiing above a choke

Today, Dec 1st, we went back and skied the next one over to the looker’s right. The upper section was mostly facets with just enough random wind slab to keep you on your toes. Midway down we skied in the small trees where the snow was better. To finish we followed the drainage all the way back to the flats.

Both days were sunny with little to no wind and warmer in the alpine than down at the car. No signs of avalanches but the snowpack is mostly facets now and when that gets covered up we’ll be looking at some typical Rockies problems I’d think.

Sierra skiing in the alpine

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