Ten years in the making...
On May 1st, 2004 I climbed the southwest couloir on Bell Mountain in the Lemhi Mountains with a fun group of folks from a regional Internet forum on Idahosummits.com. The original plan was to climb the west ridge, however, Mike Howard and I convinced the group to try our luck in the southwest couloir. You can read about that trip here.
|Jaren and Heather below the southwest face of Bell Mountain|
The southwest side of "Bell" is easily reached from Black Creek in the Little Lost River Valley north of Howe, Idaho. I often wonder why most folks choose to use Basinger Canyon as their approach. Both Basinger and Black Creek require high clearance vehicles to reach the mountain yet the latter offers a much easier approach to the upper mountain as well as options to reach other routes on the summit dome.
|Friends from Idahosummits.com climbing one of the icy chokes in the southwest couloir. 2004|
|Jaren climbing steep snow under bluebird skies and bright sunshine|
|Looking down some of the less steep terrain in the southwest couloir|
Our primary goal was to try and ski one of the western chutes on the summit dome -- all of which flow into the southwest couloir. Unfortunately Heather was feeling ill. This combined with the west chutes not having enough snow for our liking, we opted to ski the southwest couloir from just below the western chutes.
|Narrow and technical ski terrain!|
|Below the final choke in the southwest couloir|
|Letting the skis run after being confined in small spaces of the southwest couloir|
|Heather pointing toward the southwest face of Bell Mountain|
|Big terrain! Heather heading down into the left fork of Black Creek|
Hopefully it won't be another ten years before we return for the complete descent from the summit, down the west chutes and into the southwest couloir!