Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Line of the Week: Eiffel-Pinnacle Couloir

This one is well back there and quite hidden. Unless you've ventured up the Paradise Valley (or have seen pictures, like I have :) ), or have topped out the Mitre Col or Mt. Aberdeen, you might hardly have known this great line existed. Similarly, unless you wait until Moraine Lake road opens for the season (usually late May after the long weekend), the approach to this line requires a long walk up the Paradise Valley.

The seed was planted with a photo just like this one

On this particular day, we first skied the south face of Eiffel Peak (in great powder conditions), then entered the Paradise valley by skiing over Wastach Pass. Accessed via the summer trail to Eiffel Lakes. Wrapping around Eiffel Peak left us at the base of the line. I assume it is also possible to access the line by skiing over Sentinel Pass and wrapping around the base of Pinnacle Peak. Being late in the season, crusty snow, runnels, and debris were all part of the experience.

The couloir for me topped up against a rock band. More adventurous might make it even higher, but this would necessitate taking off the skis or rappeling on the way down. Of course, it might go higher in fatter snow years.

Once over Wastach pass on the way out, It can be fun skiing down the drainage to Moraine Lake rather than backtracking the summer trail, as long as the snow is still supportive.

Line Length: 400m
Top Elevation: 2750m
Total Elevation: 1330m (1200m via Paradise valley)
Round Trip Distance: 13km (23km via Paradise valley)
Other options in the area: You are in a ski mountaineering hotspot that really comes into its own late in the spring when the road opens. Aemmer Couloir, 3/4 Couloir, S face of Mt. Aberdeen, SW Ridge of Mt. Temple are in the area. The previously mentioned south face of Eiffel peak. The passes (Sentinel, Wastach, and Wenkchemna) offer tamer skiing if conditions or skillset warrant.

Hillmap route

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