Ursus Minor SE Couloir (and others)

Damn, I love Ursus Minor! Such a cool climb up, from trees to a great bit of steep skinning up the S face, then scrambling up some difficult looking rock (emphasis on “looking”) to the summit. We went for the SE couloir, one of the lines I haven’t yet done on this awesome mountain. Based on previous adventures, I was expecting a super sketchy rollover onto the north face on our way to the couloir, but the NE ridge was perfectly well-behaved and straightforward, and with good coverage.

Climbing the south face
The scramble to the summit, west face below
Southeast couloir



On the topic of Ursus, might as well detail a couple other previous descents from seasons passed on it. First up, the north face; at the time, the scariest run I’d ever done. It just rolled over forever and ever. I felt I was on a slope on the verge of becoming unskiably steep, and there was still more rolling to go, and no view of what lay below. Once on the main slope with a view down, it became a lot easier to commit to turns, knowing I wasn’t going to get cliffed out any second and have to do a sketchy transition and climb back up. The snow was so crappy we got off the face at the point where it got easy and went down some slab couloir to skier’s right. The snow didn’t improve any, but at least it was good and engaging!

Good and engaging…
North face with spicy exit


Then next, a chute on the west face. Such a good run, in such great conditions and light, I just had to ski it in full on hair-on-fire style.

Ursus W face


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