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Throop Peak – North Gully

Matthew Testa skiing Throop Peak's north gully

Believe it or not this is the first time I've skied Throop Peak from its 9142' summit; I've come close previously, but always ascended/descended the big northwest face over Lily Spring.

Though Waterman mountain is now bare, there is still a lot of snow in the Throop neighborhood. Yesterday Matt Testa and I biked over Dawson Saddle from Islip Saddle all the way to Throop's true north gully, which we climbed and skied.

Throop's north face features a lively collection of chutes and ladders which seem more or less continuous, snowpack depending, and which all funnel back to the same point along Highway 2. On protected north aspects things are currently nice and smooth (and deep) above 8K or so.

Note that in spring conditions, this area definitely falls into the "challenging skinning" category.

I've been trying to devise a comfortable and reliable late-season kickturn for these kinds of steep and narrow gullies—that remains a work in progress. From where we started, it would make sense to angle west and gain Throop's north ridge as soon as possible.

If you're going to Throop, it probably makes sense to start at Vincent Gap. It's an easy but longish ride from Islip saddle, but you do have to climb Dawson saddle and then give back (a little) elevation. On the other hand, if you're coming from the city, it's a much more pleasant drive from the west.

— May 12, 2024

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

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