January 23, 2021, Jim Hill, South Couloir

WA Stevens Pass
Posted by clane on 1/24/21 1:46pm

On Saturday, January 23rd, Tom Murphy and I ventured into the unknown - the south side of Jim Hill Mountain. With snow stability in check and sun in the forecast, we felt this was the perfect time to ski one of the 3000ft couloirs that run full length into the Whitepine Creek drainage. The approach via Lantham Lake was steep and firm to say the least, however ski crampons had us continually in awe at the traction we were able to muster. Finally, 3600ft above the Nordic Center, we topped out at the notch in the ridge, just east of the main summit. Here we tasted sun on our faces for the first time, and soaked up views of the Chiwaukum range to the southeast.

With skins stashed away, we buckled up the boots and began our decent. Steep corn up top quickly gave way to a mix of dust on crust and pockets of wind buffed pow. Pitch after pitch, the couloir just kept on going! Nearing the bottlom, we navigated a narrow rocky choke, but otherwise the entire couloir ran clean. With daylight as a consideration, we opted to forgo the last 500ft of the out run in order to traverse west towards the beginning of our return track, which would take us back up and over to the north side.

All said and done, this was a long day for essentially one run. But hell, some times you gotta check out the other side of the Hill! That said, we've dubbed this one, the Over The Hill couloir.


The Notch


Going Deeper


Ski Line in Red

Nice one, doodz!

Awww yeaaa! We were just chatting yesterday about when this line would go while being worthy of a descent. Well done on the timing- I thought similar slopes would be mostly debris'ed out. How'd you find the coverage in comparison to your photo?

Nice! Tom Whipple and I managed that one last spring in much less ideal conditions (rotten mank) and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. 

Good job getting creative with the low tide...

@osean - Coverage was almost identical to the photo (pulled off wikipedia). FAT. No avalanche runnels either. Getting this in powder would be the run of a lifetime.

@will-govus - We were wondering if anyone had skied it before... Nice work!

We skied it in April after some other friends had skied it in March maybe? I'm sure plenty of others have. The whole ridgeline is stacked with coulies as seen from the Chiwaukums.... pretty awesome zone!




Nick and I were oogling at those coolies from Big Chiwaukum. Rad!

Jim Hill


Sweet line! So many options on that south face 

Beauty! Thanks for report!

If you were to do it again would you recommend leaving a car at Cascade Meadows and exiting that way?

Very nice Don Carlos!

@timgibson11 - No - it's a trek going that way. Rather, a fun alternative would be to leave a car at Stevens Pass and skin/ski to the backside chairlifts! You just have to make sure you get there by last chair.

Well-done. I'm trying to figure out exactly how you returned to the Nordic Center... are you saying you traversed west above the whitepine drainage, and then climbed 2k feet or so to the notch / col due south of Lanham, and then skied down to the lake and out?

@moco - You got it. Here's our track. I recorded the start of the ski, all the way back to the Nordic Center



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2021-01-24 21:46:40