Analysing terrain data
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The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs, etc) 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.
Enter Bear Pits through one of the gates alone either side.
Once inside the gates, none of the numerous cliffs and other hazards are marked.
This is experts-only terrain.
The name Shot 1 harkens back to the days before Chair 6 was installed, when ski patrollers hiked the ridge for avalanche control.
This steep gully was the first shot placement on the route.
Once through the gate there are numerous options.
Stay close to the ropeline to head towards K2 Face.
The open field to the left of the rope is inviting, but ends in steep, cliffy trees.
Traverse under the rocky buttress above to twin gullies below.
The chute on the left is narrower.
The right chute is rockier.
This area is steep and avalanches often.
In 2014 the ski patrol set off an avalanche 10 feet deep that took out most of the mature timber and ran across the entire Bear Pits terrain.
Many runs and spines are now open that were un-skiable before.
Bear Pits avalanches often.
Watch for debris in the runout below.