This is a cool looking face I wanted to ski after seeing it from somewhere, I can't figure it out now looking through my pictures. You would see it well from Twin Peaks, but I haven't made that one yet. We were aiming for Twin Peaks today, starting from Twin Lakes in Bridgeport. Winds were fierce up high, so we went through Horse Creek Pass to get a look at Whorl and Virginia. After a short nap behind some rocks, the wind died down enough and Whorl's east face became the plan. We also got to ski a great north facing couloir on the way back, higher up above the pass.
Here is the view from maybe 800' above Horse Creek Pass, looking south.
From the lame 10 minute google search Just did, Whorl Mountain is what we skied, and the name also includes the huge alpine rock beast just to the south. That peaklet is more known as Whorl I assume for some rock routes.
the intruders. no actually, you belong back here. Matterhorn on the right, Horse Creek Pass is the gap in the ridge, Twin Peaks is on the left.
We got to ski this excellent couloir on the way out under my arrow. It had a sideways entrance below 5 foot vertical wall, kind of like Solstice Chute. Then perfect steep, winter untracked soft stuff - turning to perfect corn in the sun below.
Coming through Horse Creek Pass looking at Whorl Mountain, which is one peak south of Matterhorn.
From high on Whorl, this shot is looking East at the summit of Twin Peaks. I didn't see a good way to climb up from this back side. Over on the right you can see Virginia Peak sticking up over the ridge. I've heard of people skiing the steep north face of Virginia Peak coming over from Virginia Lakes. Although you start lower at Twin Lakes, it might be possible to ski down canyon back here and hop over the ridge, ending up right below the north face. I haven't looked at the map closely, but the Virginia start is probably better being 2500' higher!
Near the summit of Whorl I looked down this short north facing couloir that was enticing. We couldn't see how to definately climb back over the ridge, and it turned out you can't. On the right Greg is climbing to the summit. 3rd class and very exposed. The rock wasn't solid granite either, this was a delicate short climb.
Looking back to the north at Matterhorn, you can see the catwalk we just climbed to get to the actual summit. For me it was more of a crabwalk.
Zoom in on Dana Peak to the south.
Looking at the south peaklet of Whorl Mountain. That north facing couloir does not go at all down lower. Maybe earlier in the year. It drains into the west side of the ridge too.
Coming off the summit blocks. Winds died down quite a bit, which happens often for me mid-day when I get up there. Don't ask me why. Are winds at their minimum mid day for some real reason?
Dude. Skis with dead flat tails are a must for backcountry skiing. how else are you going to let go of your skis on any slope, especially one like this while you down climb off rocks. Meanwhile, only K2 knows this.
After skiing the east face of Whorl, we skinned up maybe 800' to a notch I was pretty sure matched the north couloir on the ridge we spied coming in.
Looking back at where we had been.
You can see by the tracks, the snow was a bit firm and exposed where you set em down. Greg is the better skier, I let him go first which helps me sometimes. Other times I'd rather go first just to get the sketchy moment over with faster. This drop in required some sideways momentum, but wasn't too tough due to soft snow in the center, at maybe 40 degrees.
Perfect corn down lower in the sun.
We came out of the highest couloir in this pic. This isn't really a substantial peak, more of a peaklet on the ridge of Twin Peaks near Horse Creek Pass.
The cornice wasn't overhanging, and we came in on the lookers right side.