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Skitouring Baldy Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2019.04.23 - 01:37:48
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Monashee Mountains
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 600m
Difficulty: 2: Some steeper open tree skiing near peak
A short half day ski trip to a high prominence peak.
This is part of a bigger journey. See Road Trip to Nevada

On a recent trip to the Kootenays I had planned to skitour in several of the already closed ski areas along the way. After touring at Manning the next objective was the small Phoenix ski area near Grand Forks. But during the night in Osoyoos I thought that Baldy Mountain would be a bigger more worthwhile tour. From skiing there more than 30 years ago I remembered that the lift didn't go all the way to the top, so that would make it more like a climb of an unspoiled summit. However when I approached the mountain I could see that there were some communication facilities on the top.

[photo]20170519_091747.jpg[caption]From the base of the lift the summit area is not visible.[/photo]

I skied up the Shaft, one of the most direct skiruns which had some moderately steep sections requiring a few wide zigzags. After a clear morning in Osoyoos I suddenly had driven into some fog near the turn off from hwy 3 and when I came out of it again clouds were forming all around.

[photo]20170519_095213.jpg[caption]Looking back.[/photo]

[photo]20170519_102644.jpg[caption]Top of the chairlift.[/photo]

As I approached the top of the chairlift there was a very dark cloud above the summit and I came into its shadow with the light turning very flat. The final slopes looked very steep with rock outcrops and clumps of trees requiring many tight switchbacks, which in the flat light looked unattractive. So I skied below the slope to the west until I found an easier traverse up. It led me to a fairly open moderate slope that I could skin up almost straight to where it narrowed beside a small valley where I saw a snowcat track coming up from the west. Or that is what I thought. When I crossed it I realized it were...

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