January 23, 2021, Jim Hill, South Couloir
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.
Ski Line in Red