|Views of Soldier Mountains Crest from Peak 1: Peak 2 in the foreground, Peak 3 in the middle, and Smokey Dome in the back.|
|Views from Peak 1 Summit - Soldier Mountain Ski Resort Top Lift is highlighted in the lower center.|
|Steven at Peak 1 Summit. Extensive views to the North from Peak 1 Summit.|
|Steven at Peak 1 Summit with Peak 2 in the background.|
|Chago with Peak 2 north east ridge in the background, where many moderate BC skiing lines are available for the takers.|
|Peak 1 Summit - Sastrugi Skiing by Steven|
|Sastrugi transitioning into wind blown POW. Skier = Steven.|
|Transition zone between sastrugi and wind blown pow.|
|Wind Blown snow at the East Glades of Peak 1 - 8700 feet.|
Enjoying the snow goods available at Soldier Mountains requires an easy driving (2.5 hours) from Boise to Soldier Mountain Ski Resort, getting a very affordable one way up ticket at Soldier Mountain Ski Resort, and the extra physical effort to cover the distance from Soldier Mountain Ski Resort at 7200 feet to the eastern base of Peaks 1 and/or 2 where fun skiing starts at the 8000 feet level.
|Topo map for SOldier Mountain Ski Resort and Peak 1 and 2 BC Skiing Possibilities.|
|January 5th Pow Skiing from Peak 2 NE Ridge at 8600 feet.|
|View to the East from Peak 2 NE Ridge at 8700 feet|
|View to the West from Peak 2 NE Ridge at 8700 feet - Smokey Dome North Face|
|View to the South West from Peak 2 NE Ridge at 8700 feet - Peak 2 in te left and Smokey Dome in the right.|
|Soldier Mountain Ski Patrollers getting ready to drop into Bridge Creek.|
Below 8000 feet, the snowpack at Soldier Mountain needs a good dosis of respect. During January 5th the snowpack surface layer below 8000 feet of elevation was heavily facetted and was caped by very beautiful surface hoar crystals.
|BIG surface hoar crystal - no magnification required!|
|Surface Hoar crystals in my hand!|
The buried SH crystals below 8000 feet made their presence known repeatedly as we triggered significant whumpfs from SW to NE aspects at the 7000-7200 feet elevation. It was really fun to repeatedly experienced (10+ times) your surroundings drop about one centimeter. For the record, my ski partner disagreed with my FUN adjective, he suggested using the the "o-sh@t" descriptor.
At the elevations of concern (7000 feet) we observed a decent number of small natural slides resulting from wind loading. No such evidence was found above 8000 feet for the areas we ski toured.
My friends, even when the conditions are not optimum (deep face shots), and we have not seen a refresh on snow, get out and explore new touring areas. With some creativity and ingenuity you can find interesting touring alternatives with decent soft snow conditions waiting for skiers and riders. You can start by visiting Soldier Mountain Ski Resort.
The web link for the resort is included below for your convenience:
Soldier Mountain Ski Resort
By the way, this year Soldier Mountain Ski Resort became a non-profit organization. The new management team is reinventing the skiing experience at this awesome resort. Please sponsor this resort by visiting it.
I hope this posting with pics and beta will convince you that this area will provide you with great ski touring and soul fulfilling pow turns.