Chair Peak has so many nooks and crannies to explore! It’s often just a sight for people to see on their way around the Chair Peak Circumnav…but MAN are there some cool ski lines that are right off the beaten path.

Trip Report

After a storm with 4,500′ freezing levels came in, we were looking for the highest perch we could fine to escape the rain crust. Chair Peak came to mind…

Porter and I headed out with very few expectations and one general idea: explore some of the terrain high on Chair Peak. We started out by skinning towards the ‘thumbtack’ just below the NE Buttress, but on our way up we sighted a couloir E/NE facing at the top of the basin just to the south of Chair. It looked tight and steep, so we headed up that way. Sure enough, after putting in a skinner, we could see people following our tracks up towards the couloir.

Booting up the couloir was pretty wallow-y, but not the worst (especially lately). As we were booting up the couloir, it looked wide enough to make comfortable jump turns. But once we topped out and looked back down, it was a little more narrow than we had thought. Porter went first and elegantly made a few hop turns to a point where he point-and-shot it, straight-line through.

I had no shame in sidestepping a little more than I wanted to, making one or two hop turns at the top and then mostly sidestepping to the point where I could straight-line out. The couloir turned double-fall-line with ice chunks on the sides. Coming out of the couloir was a fun straight-line to a good run out. The snow was variable but still soft-ish. We skied the slopes back down to below the thumbtack.

Porter skiing the open slopes back down to the bench below the thumbtack.

After that lap, we moved over to the north slopes of Chair and climbed up towards the point SE of Melakwa Point. The NE facing shots drew our attention. We met up with Nick, Kate, and Joe and took a hot lap of some of the lower-hanging fruit in the area.

The clouds were in-and-out, making for a super dramatic environment.

Looking over at skiers on the ridge.

We skinned back up and moved our high point higher towards the point SE of Melakwa Point. The E/SE Face looked excellent, with just a bit of sun glistening its untouched powder. Again, as soon as we put a track the rest followed. Oh well. We had it to ourselves and it was pretty damn fun.

Porter and I split from Nick/Joe/Kate and skied down the standard north slopes to Snow Lake. Our next mission was a couloir just off the lake, one that we always skin right by. It is possible to get into it from the top, but you’d have to have your map skills DIALED. We opted to just boot up.

We didn’t even put skins on…just booted straight up the thing. It went pretty smoothly…only a little wallow-y in some spots. The line was FUN! The snow was a little jank since it was below the rain line from the previous day, but it made for good hop turns.

All-in-all, a good day with mixed bag of snow and good times.