Monday, March 24, 2014

Castle crag via Nipple Knob

Leah and Natalie nearing the summit.

I had another fantastic day in the Bitterroot, skiing the north face of Nipple knob, touring up Sheafman Creek, then skiing the South face of Castle Crag and exiting Mill creek. The weather was great, the company was as good as it gets, and the tour flowed smoothly and had plenty of spice to keep us engaged. There was a healthy dose of canyon slogging time, but it was filled with interesting conversation on a variety of topics, as expected from a party of four with advanced degrees.

We did have to get a little creative to avoid northeast facing wind slabs, but were able piece the tour together without doing anything too slow or dangerous. This was my fifth time on top of the crag, and I was able to re-confirm my opinion that the summit view is one of the best in the range. Both runs were quality, and we were able to score grabby but good conditions from top to bottom on the 3,000 vertical foot south face of Castle Crag. With all the snow, the egress was quick and almost painless. Tacking Nipple knob on to the front part of the day bumped the quality of this tour somewhere just shy of classic status.

Approaching Nipple knob. Photo: Ben Irey
Mill 1 and 2 from Nipple knob. Photo: Ben Irey

Safety meeting (seriously) before engaging the slopes above Knack lake. Photo: Ben Irey
The ladies, skinning all the way to the summit.
Leah cruising on Castle Crag. Photo: Ben Irey

Leah near the bottom of Castle Crag. Photo: Ben Irey

Dressed for spring during the exit.

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