July 29, 2008
I was browsing the message boards at thebackcountry.net when I happened to see a new "North Peak" post. I clicked on it, thinking someone had posted a climbing trip report (North Peak's North Couloir is a classic Sierra Ice Climb in summer).
Surprise: this wasn't a climbing TR: it was a Sierra ski report—in July!
The photos are courtesy of SLT Joe, who skied not only North Peak's right-hand couloir but also the notorious left couloir on 7/5.
Congrats to SLT Joe and his crew for getting out there and nabbing such a cool descent! I've got to award double-secret bonus points for scoring the left couloir (from the chockstone), which is I believe even steeper than the right-hand couloir (itself no slouch). I never would have guessed North Peak's couloirs were skiable this late in the year.
Seeing these shots of North Peak rekindled fond memories of my own ski descent of the North Couloir. If you haven't ski toured in the Yosemite area, I can't recommend it highly enough. The skiing and scenery are spectacular.
As for North Peak, SLT Joe's photos really capture how steep this ski descent actually is. The right-hand couloir is absolutely one of the Sierra's spicier shots—reminiscent of an elevator shaft when you're standing at the top staring down. As for the left couloir, check out the entire set of photos on Joe's site, SierraFlow.com for more views of this eye-popping line.