Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Vesper Peak (winter)

Backcountry ski tour to and from summit of Vesper Peak.

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  • M2 Mountain 2 Ski
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 7.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,150 ft

Group will meet no later than 7 am on the morning of the tour at the Verlot Ranger Station on the Mountain Loop Highway.  From there we will drive for about 30 minutes to the Sunrise Mine Road and the trailhead.

The first part of this tour requires carrying your skis/snowboard and your boots on your backpack for about 2 miles of trail, including a river crossing.  Bring approach shoes to wear on the trail.  Continuous snow will be gained at or about the beautiful hanging valley of Wirtz Basin.   From there we skin to the base of Headlee Pass and then boot up a steep couloir (bring ice axe).  Once we gain Headless Pass it's easy touring over to Vesper and up its moderate slopes.  Skiing down Vesper's  open slopes is moderate and fun, but the skiing back down the Headlee couloir requires that all participants are confident steep skiers (advanced intermediate or expert skiing ability).  Randonee, telemark and splits boards are all okay provided you are competent to make a controlled descent of a steep chute.


Vesper Peak (winter)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Boots, skis/snowboard, poles
  • Climbing skins (or other method to travel uphill on snow)
  • Avalanche shovel (mental blade)
  • Avalanche beacon
  • Avalanche probe
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