Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs…) but only the consequences of the skier falling.
Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.
Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.
High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.
Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.
A steep face that funnels through rock bands and narrow chutes, Bear Pits Shot 2 is for experts only.
The upper face is often wind-loaded and the exposure is high.
Getting caught in an avalanche here would send a skier/rider through steep trees, over cliffs and across numerous rock bands.
The sometimes-skiable line is through the trees directly below the gate.
Watch for the cornice that builds here above the cliff band.
This cornice is known by the ski patrol as "The Battleship," due to its size and shape.
Stay to the skiers right of a prominent rock band.
It steepens considerably in the trees.
On big snow years, it's possible to wiggle through the trees and air off the cliff.
If you choose this route, be prepared to land on steep, sometimes rocky terrain.
Bring your A Game, drop into the fluted slope below, get your wits together and continue through one of the many chutes and faces of "lower Bear Pits." Note that once through the gates, hazards are not marked in Bear Pits.
Alternately work left above the diagonal rock band below and skiers left of the gate.
Watch for wind-loading here as this is an exposed piece of terrain.
It is possible to traverse to Shot 3 and ski that more generous chute below.
The lower half of Bear Pits opens considerably.
The trees here have mainly been stripped bare due to a large avalanche a few years ago.
This slope is often moguled.
Look for the trail to the skiers left above the gully directly at the bottom of the runout.
Follow this trail/cat track to Lower Gandy's and on to the bottom of Rainier Express.