East Face (Big East)
DID NOT SUMMIT SKI ON THIS ATTEMPT.
After a great few days of pow I would then take the next 5 days off for the holidays and to finish up my work for the season. Those 5 days brought with it some high pressure as the snowpack has started to settle a bit from all the recent storms. Come Monday I was eager to get back in the hills. I got in contact with Frank and he had mentioned the idea of going for an attempt of the East face of Bloodshaw Mountain in the Gore. A big day but being a line I stare at from town everyday I was excited to give her a go. Starting off December the right way.
There is no real easy way to get to this seldom skied peak as there is a lot of private property in the area and the "TH" for Boulder Creek is pretty much right off of Hwy 9. One can get dropped off at the actual TH but there is no parking. And so we pulled in and parked around 7am. We then hiked/skinned fairly quickly the first 3 miles or so up the road to Harrigan Creek before we started breaking our own trail. From here it would be traditional Gore Range bushwhacking. Downed trees everywhere.
We had a pretty good idea of our ascent route up and where we wanted to go but there is a lot of wilderness to cover and so we periodically checked Franks GPS and verified our location. Along the way we followed some fresh deer tracks for a mile or so until we eventually popped out into a meadow and very briefly saw a lynx. Man I love this place! Then we eventually popped out and into our zone for the day and out onto one of the biggest avy paths I have seen!
At this point we were already almost 7 miles and 4.5 hrs in and we were in a bit of a time crunch as Frank had to be back in town by 630 for a staff meeting. We quickly discussed our best plan of attack, ate some snacks, and headed on up. We figured we would skin up the avy path until we reached the broad slope above treeline and then reassess.
After a fairly easy skin up the avy path we found ourselves above treeline and still almost 1k ft from the summit. We reassessed our situation and decided not to go for the summit bid today and skinned up about 30 yards higher than the upper trees in the above photo. We will be back for a summit ski in better conditions! A quick transition and we then enjoyed over 1700 vertical of surprisingly great turns back down to our entry point.
Although we didn't get the summit bid and ski there is always a next time. It was great to get out and put in a big day while exploring a new zone! Will absolutely be back!! Ended up being about an 8.5 hour day. Not too long as we were able to ski out the exit pretty quickly but afterwards we ended up getting Frank's car stuck for over an hour in the parking lot. Gotta love it!!