A steep and potential dangerous line just beyond the ski resort


4 - 5









FATMAP difficulty grade



The South Face of Pickhandle Peak is a beautiful open avalanche swath which makes its way down to Morse Creek Basin.

This line is not naturally alpine and it is actually caused by constant avalanches that rip out the trees.

Since this is South facing it needs to be attempted cautiously as a simple mistake can leave you in a world of hurt or easily much worse.

Being that it heads into Morse Creek you are far from any help and on your own.

Sorry about going into depth about the seriousness of this line but I think by now you get the point so on with the show. Leaving Crystal Mountain ski resort base start skinning up the Quicksilver run until you arrive at the exit of Silver Basin.

From here you need to start heading east slowly gaining elevation with the goal of heading up to Bear Gap.

Once on Bear Gap start climbing up the West Ridge of Pickhandle Point and before long you will be standing on the summit.

The South Chute is impossible not to spot as you look down into Morse Creek Basin.

Cautiously check out the snow conditions and give the line a ski cut seeing how the snow reacts.

If you still feel confident and want to try your luck do this line staggered with your touring partners and always keep an eye on them.

Make a few turns then traverse to a safe zone before your friend drops in and keep doing this until you are near the semi dense forest at the bottom.

Do a hard traverse skiers right so you can transition in a safe spot. Now it is time to wrap Northwest around Pickhandle Point and back up to Bear Gap.

From here don’t get tricked into riding the main gully back to the base as it gets both flat and dense, instead head a bit to the skiers left before descending.

If you are lucky you will be on top of Boondoggle but if not at least the line down isn’t as bad as the main gully.

Click here for a trip within the area and much more photos https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/crystal-mountain/pickhandle-point-south/