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Skiing mountaineering 29 March 2016 Back to list
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Bucket List: David "Powder" Steele's Must-Ski Spring Descents

Bucket List: David
For a prolific skier, picking favorites amongst ski descents is a bit like deciding which people to invite to a small wedding: most of your buddies will be disappointed. Thus, I’ll stick to some classics. These are fun, not particularly scary, and all of them are best skied in the spring.
 

South East Face of Mt. Allen

Located in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park, Mt. Allen’s South East face offers one of the best mellow, long ski descents in area. It’s a six mile approach up to Cracker Lake with the first mile and change beaten to muddy, poopy pulp by the horse tours that depart from the hotel. A short bushwhack around the lake connects to the snow, and with ski crampons, you can skin all 3000’ to just shy of the summit of Mt. Allen. The descent is never choked, narrow, or epically steep: the turns are fun and wonderful all the way back to the lake. It would be a world classic if the mud and approach weren’t there. 
 
Birdwoman Cirque

Logan Pass sits at 6500ft in the heart of Glacier National Park. During the summer, the Going To The Sun highway functions as a super conduit of tourists up and over its snowy heights, but the opening of the road after plowing begins in (usually) June creates a secondary, late ski season for the local community. Especially nice because it’s harder to get to, Birdwoman Cirque hosts the tallest continuous patch of snow on the Pass. 


Rock Creek Headwall

Beartooth Pass, usually open somewhere around Memorial Day, is a connector between Yellowstone and Red Lodge. The high pass climbs nearly to 11,000’, and its Rock Creek Headwall is my favorite road lap I’ve ever skied. A thirty minute tundra traverse off the top deposits you at a variety of nice chutes that empty back to a hairpin on the road. Opening weekend sees a veritable parade of people arcing down and shuttling back up. But be careful of warm, spring/summer afternoons on coverless plateau of the top: we’ve been chased down to waiting cars by lightening. 

David "Powder" Steele is currently living the dream in Montana and skiing most days. You can connect with him on Instagram. When he's getting after it in the mountains, you can find him sporting the Aerospace goggles, Trek and Cortina.

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