The Elusive Stevens Peak

Today, K had to work so rather then another solo job I met up with a local skier (a shovel partner just in case) and traveled to Willow Creek of the Bitterroot Range. 

On Christmas Day I skinned up St Regis Basin

and was rewarded with amazing

views of Stevens Peak

, which happens to be the highest peak in the immediate area, and probably the most interesting terrain within an hour and a half of Spokane.  My goal today was find an easier way to the summit and do some recon on some lines.  Unfortunately it snowed all day and the sun never broke through.  We were within a half mile of the summit along the summit ridge and still no cheese.  However the approach beat the 6.5 miles up St. Regis Basin.

After our turnaround point spotted what appeared to be our best line down to the bottom of West Willow Basin, taking us back to the summit of west willow peak to ski its east shoulder.  During the skin back to its summit we came across another group of skiers, including John Latta, a professional photographer who frequents the area.  He suggested

his website

as a means to contact him, if looking for a skiing buddy in the future, friendly guy.  Anyway I'm borrowing one of his pics of Stevens Peak, which appears to be taken from just beyond our turnaround point.

John's photo of Stevens Peak

and all its attractive chutes, just begging to be skied by K and I in the near future.

John Latta's photo of the north face chutes of Steven's Peak

Today's tracks

The "JAMMER" as called by my ski partner today, been there since logging stopped in the 80's.  Appears to be a sticker magnet for passing skiers

Its boom is made out of a tree

The top portion of our run off of West Willow Peak