Trip Report: Kings Peak Backcountry Ski Tour

Kings Peak Backcountry Ski Tour
By Larry* Swanson
SKI 03/21/2020 EXT


This year was brimming with surprises. First, on a recon drive in February, we found the road we have used for 25+ years is no longer plowed in winter. Next, we found a locked gate where we normally park cars, and finally this terrible Coronavirus that messed with everyone's plans. Nevertheless, the KPT went on with many modifications to eliminate the hazard of personnel contamination. The traditional "Hot Chocolate in Larry's VW Van" became "walk thru" with steaming cups offered out the window by a gloved hand.

The morning was nippy, 10F at the start, but the sky was clear when the sun came up and with no wind the skiing was nice. A fair amount of new snow covered the track 3 of us had set the week earlier. The snow got deeper as altitude increased. The conditions in the drainage were super. One could almost ski anywhere. Above Elkhorn Crossing the trail breaking got serious in both old and new snow. Gunsight Pass became the turn-around point for all. A comment from most was how great it was to be out of range of the Coronavirus news cycle and in the Forest for a while. Next year will be here before you know it.

Ski Tourers: Steve Swanson, Josh Childs, Larry Swanson, Oliver Hansen, Sharyl Smith, Lubos Pavel, Joseph Butcher, Barry Dehaan, Bruce Coulter, Sam Stevens, Vince Snow, Tanner Gerrard, Mike Zufelt