|Steep skinning in the Brannan lake cirque.|
With a casual start from Missoula, we spent the first day approaching Sailor lake with heavy packs and establishing a fantastic camp just below the lake. We had time to make an evening ski of the south twin couloir in the central cirque and get a general look at the available terrain. Setting a non-bootpacking trend for the weekend, we skinned the entire north twin couloir, and danced along the ridge to the south couloir. The ensuing run was moderate and aesthetic. We established a comfortable existence back at camp, with fresh veggies for dinner, dry shoes, and a campfire.
|Leah working the switchbacks near the top of the north twin couloir.|
|Starting down a hanging ramp into the south twin couloir.|
|Skiing the south twin couloir.|
|The looker's left half of the Brannan lake cirque, our playground on Sunday and Tuesday morning.|
|The looker's right half of the Brannan lake cirque, showing peak 10,560 and it's southeast couloir.|
|Leah climbing to the shoulder of peak 10,560.|
|Working through some rocks in the basin north of Brannan lakes.|
Leah skiing back into the Brannan lake cirque.
|Dropping yet again into the Brannan lake cirque.|
|Ski tracks in the Brannan lake cirque.|
|Steep kick turns with the west face of Hollowtop visible in the background.|
|About to ski into the challenging gash couloir.|
|Leah skiing the excellent gully off Lakeshore mountain to the base of Jackson peak.|
|Climbing to Jackson peak's north couloir.|
|Snacking on a knoll below Jackson peak's north couloir in preparation for an evening run on the northwest shoulder.|
|Misty turns in the Brannan lake cirque before heading home.|
|Skiing the return gully to Sailor lake on the way home.|
I also want to pass along a recommendation to Missoula skiers to give Matt Radlowski a call for ski tuning. He spent some time overhauling my powder skis last week, and really brought them to life. With some edge sharpening and detuning/flattening in the tips, the hookiness is gone, and I am finally happy with how Dynafit Huascarans ski. Since I have a shameless preference for small skis (and tight clothing), at 112 mm underfoot, the Dynafit Huascarans are too wide to be a good technical mountaineering tool, and at and 1910 grams for skis and bindings, they are too heavy for super long or fast days. However, they are now the fun/nimble/predictable powder ski I was hoping for, and coupled with Dynafit Speed superlight bindings (also recommended), and TLT5 performance boots, they are light enough for real backcountry skiing. Viva la Dynafit!