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Trip Report    

Cowboy & Big Chief Mountains

Hiked past the ski lodge and headed up to the top of the Skyline lift. Then we gained the Cowboy Mtn ridge from the northwest.Found the ridge to be Icer than expected. But could still kick steps on a nice tree covered ridge. But any icer traction devices would of beeen needed. We followed the ridge to the summit of Cowboy Mtn. The snow was back to being soft, but snowshoes were never needed. Then we dropped off the back side (SW-Ridge) of Cowboy to about 5200 feet into a basin and traversed NE to a pass at 5400'. A lot of sluffing on southside due to bright warm day 60-70 deg day. Followed the ridge and bypassed Point 5547 just right (south) and followed the ridge down to PCT and followed the cat track toward Big Chief. Left some of the group at top of Jupiter chair.

Then followed the ridge NE toward Big Chief Mtn. Should of had snowshoes for thhis section. On the ridge toward Big Chief we found the snow to be deep. Group already tired and view of the cornice ridge. The group decided to turnaround at pt 5675. Regrouped at top of the Juniper chair. We glisaded Double Diamond ski run to the top of Kehrs chair then the group glissaded down Showcase ski run.

But I would of glissaded all of the double diamond run down to the base.

Route conditions: (for climbs, scrambles, snowshoe trips, etc.)
Icy on Cowboy NW ridge (microskies/crampons) would of been nice, we were lucky we could still kick steps. Sluffing of sun warmed sun on the south side of cowboy. Stayed on ridges when ever ever possible and stayed in the trees in the back bowl of cowboy on our way to the 5400' pass to limit the time spent traveling in avalanche prone areas. Needed snowshoes for Big Chief ridge, but didn't have them.

Gear Used: Ice ax & helmet for students.

Gear needed but didn't have: snowshoes & traction devices.