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King Mountain el 10612', early ski descent

March 20 2017 at 8:14 AM
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Rick Baugher  (no login)

Response to Lost River Range Ski Mountaineering web page

Hadn't thought about this one in a long time. It may be an earliest, but who knows?

On May 3, 1986 with Joe Cannon, a family friend from North Carolina and recently arrived in Idaho Falls with the Nuclear Navy, we headed to the southern Lost River Range to show him the sights.

Starting at 5600' we hiked up the SW ridge of King Mountain and eventually into snow.
This is the ridge now used as a launch site for hang gliding.

Near the top things get a bit steep & cliffy. I cut a few steps for us.
Our destination was immediately above, the named summit of King Mountain el 10612'.

We followed the snowy ridge south for several yards. I handed the ice axe over to Joe, giving him a quick self-arrest lesson and emphasizing not to stab himself. Also, give me a good head start before booting down.

Now my turn. With Asolo leather boots, step into 3-pin bindings on my lost & found 160cm Rossi alpine skis and launch into the SSW gully.

Two things I remember:
a) The angle was steep enough that tele turns were best initiated with an elevator step to best face the fall line.
b) It was a warm sunny day and each turn in the damp snow generated big pinwheel sluffs. The underlying base was firm.

Skiing ended abruptly in a rock field at 7800'.

Surprisingly, Joe had a fun time too. We later did a repeat in one of Mt Glory's back bowls (Ski Lake).

A couple of years ago, Joe's 96 year old dad passed away. We had a fine reminiscence about our snow day on King Mountain so many years ago.

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