After a few days of sun last week, the flow moved back into the Tetons on Friday. Attempting to stay off the sun effected slopes, Reed Finlay and I set our sites on a line we refer to as the “Son of Apocalypse” (maybe you call it something different). It is the Northeast Couloir of Prospectors Mountains and sits just to the east of Apocalypse Couloir, offering 2400′ of vertical down into Death Canyon. Unless you are in the canyon below this couloir, or paying attention on a few select slopes to the north, the gut of the line stays hidden from view. I skied this line solo back in 2000 and all I remember was that is was icy and quite gnarly.
Hover over the image…and use the arrows to advance the photo.
One this tour, like the last time I skied it, we approached via Phelps Lake and skinned up the far northeasterly slopes of Prospector Mountain. The ridge line pulled us to the west as we poked and peered down craggy cliffs in search of the entrance to the Son of Apocalypse. Fresh snow measured about 4-6 inches and was quite sluffy. As we descended into the couloir, the walls pinched in and we were funneled downward. We encountered two cruxes on the way down. One was easily skiable, the other was more challenging. I chose to jump my way over the chockstone and shed speed in the deepest of many piles of sluff that we had pushed down the slope. Reed opted for a safer exit and down climbed…using his skis as anchors and hand holds as he made his way down icy, snow covered rocks. A fun day skiing a obscure line.