Back Home in Idaho’s Pioneer Mountains

The Pioneer Range is a group of big, beautiful mountains that sit just east of the Wood River Valley. You can see the main peaks (stretching up to 12, 000 ft) from my home town of Ketchum, Id. While growing up, it was a daily routine for my dad to quiz me on the names of the peaks from the top of Sun Valley’s ski resort. Needless to say, they made an impression.

Hyndman, Old Hyndman, and Cobb

 The above average snow year made a 5 day trip into the Pio’s possible…. In late May. So with a group of seven skiers, three sleds, and a large amount of food and beer we made the trek into the Pioneer Yurt.Our first objective was the Comma Couloir off the top of Cobb. 

We climbed up the west ridge (seen above). The ascent ended up being just as exciting as the descent.Looking into the entrance of the North Couloir while hiking Cobb. We came back for this one a couple days later.

The skiing was great, all of my favorite conditions rolled into 3,500 ft of vert. Chalky up top with pockets of deep fluff and creamy spring corn down low.

Dropping into the Comma Couloir

The next day the weather wasn’t cooperating so we found a sweet area to lap with the sleds. Thanks to our new favorite toys we were each able to get 4 or 5 laps on “Freeride Zone 1”.  We then headed to Duncan Ridge with plans to ski the north facing chutes. Unfortunately the clouds socked us into a total white out and we were forced to ski back down the south side. We retreated to the yurt where we built a couple jumps, had a gourmet dinner, and sweated it out in the sauna. On day three the sun finally peaked through and warmed up the snow. We headed for Hyndman to ski some corn. The hike went by quick. And the view from the top stretched for miles.

Top of Hyndman (12009 ft) with a beautiful view of the valley below

We each chose a different line off the top, and imprinted ski tracks across the entire south face.

Hyndman's south face. If you look closely you can see our tracks.

From the bottom of Hyndman we checked out the North Couloir of Cobb and decided to go for it.

Axel pointing to Cobb's North Couloir

We were bummed to discover that the 6 inches of fresh snow that laid in the couloir the day before had been completely blown out. Axel dropped in first and the screeching sound of rock hard chatter snow made us all cringe. But, we had our hearts set on skiing the North Couloir so we sucked it up and prepared our legs for thousands of feet of hop turns. Good skiing, good food, good friends. Thank you Sun Valley Trekking, we will be back. Cheers

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