By: randosteve|Posted on: March 4, 2009|Posted in: Antartica, International | 9 comments

Approaching the summit of Youngs Peak

TetonAT’s final day of skiing in Rogers Pass involved one of the most classic ski tours in the area and headed up the Illecillewaet Glacier to ski Youngs Peak under bluebird skies. A long day, but with Greg Hill and company with us, we would be able to move quickly and not be slowed down with route finding, which can sometimes be difficult for out-of-towners. We would be pushing things a little bit in regards to the avalanche danger, but with careful route finding and proper techniques, we were able to make the peak and have a successful descent.

The day started with a mellow ski up a canyon under Sir Donald, one of the more striking peaks in the area. The sun cast cool shadows as it rose higher in the cold morning sky. Undulating terrain brought us up on the glacier where the group hung back while Greg put in the track through some steeper terrain. The upper elevation winds and terrain characteristics kept us all pushing longer that we wanted to before stopping to refuel and hydrate. Cold and boking, we all skinned with our puffy jackets on to try and stay warm.

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As we crested the glacier, the vast expanse made us feel like we were in another world and spots that seemed only a few minutes away, took us nearly half an hour to reach. Finally reaching a high point before dropping down prior to the final pitches up to Youngs Peak, we stopped, and Greg began filming some of the group pushing ahead. The views of Mount Fox and the Comstock were incredible and Greg shared some stories of his past adventures. Catching up to the rest of the group, the winds started to pump as we negotiated the cornice laden ridge to the top of Youngs Peak. Clear skies allowed us to see for hundreds of kilometers and we sat in silence at the summit, consumed by our own day dreams.

One by one we skied off the peak down a moderately steep pitch, as Greg found islands of safety for filming. With the big open slopes, there was room for everyone to ski through untracked snow. Making our way downward, we pasted by “Forever Young”, a popular couloir off of Youngs Peak and just one of many reasons to return to Rogers Pass in the future. Thanks to Arc’teryx, Greg Hill and Aaron Chance for making this trip so enjoyable.