The Saddle Peak Sneak

March 12th, 2009

Detail of the Saddle Peak Sneak

Decent to the Saddle Peak SneakAll winter I’ve been eyeing this prominent and totally rad line on Saddle. You can see it perfectly each lift ride up Schlasmans, calling to you… well I finally skied it with a couple of buddies. This actually happened a while ago - during the Jan and Feb dry spell, while my back was hurt - but I’m just getting around to posting it now. It’s a very aesthetic line, somewhat tight and technical at the crux, but mostly I like it because of the pucker-factor. To drop in to the Sneak you have to make a couple of turns about 10-15 feet away from a 100-200 foot cliff, on a 30 degree slope which fades towards the cliff edge. It’s really not difficult - but you don’t want some careless sluff management to take you over the edge!

Hiking Saddle Peak

Gunning out the bottom of the SneakThis is actually the first time I’ve skied a line of Saddle-proper. I ski the edge of the resort all the time, but with the sketch avalanche conditions all winter I’ve “somehow” resisted the urge to ski the actual wide, open, perfect, powdery face of Saddle… which is also a perfect avalanche face… and hangs over the same 200 foot cliff the sneak goes though!! Look for yourself! But apparently I’m the only one who has resisted. After each dump, regardless of the avalanche advisory, this terrifying prime-avi-slope-to-terrain-trap combo get’s farmed to the bejezzus. Only, I think, through the miracle of skier compaction has this slope not released and killed someone yet this season. I mean… I want to ski this face. It’s gorgeous! But I would want bomber conditions to do so. I heard someone call this face the “Evil Temptress“, and I think I’m going to run with that. It’s so beautiful, and so easy to access! But someone is going to get burned by this snow-covered succubus, it’s only a matter of time…

Our line on Saddle Peak

But the day we shrapled the Sneak I would call it “bomber”. No new snow for weeks and no natural activity during that time, even with all the traffic it gets. So we hit it. And it was sweet. :)

But do not try this without expert backcountry travel skills! The face of Saddle is a prime avalanche slope, is not avalanche controlled, and getting caught in a slide here would be fatal!

Dropping down the Sneak

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3 Responses to “The Saddle Peak Sneak”

  1. Thats sick! I have definitely been eying this same line. Great pics. Thanks.

  2. i believe this line is referred to as the Alex Lowe couloir

  3. Fuckin rad line, my and homie brady boarded down that with a couple feet of fresh last year, but yes it is very intense swingin above those monster cliffs.

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