Bagheera I’ll be back….
Bagheera is one of the most dramatic summits in Roger’s Pass. It is the most "Alaskan" style descent around. A 2500 foot alpine face, south/east facing and no easy way up. It is one of the few summits I have not skied from and I look forward to skiing it. It is a tricky face to ski in powder conditions, to time it right and climb it safely while also getting great skiing will be difficult. After our day on Ursus and 8812 we thought the conditions were perfect. 10-15 cm of snow overlying a solar crust, it seemed ideal.
When we arrived at the parking lot at 6 am we could tell things had changed. Wind was blowing lots of new snow around. We hoped that it was less than we thought but it slowly became obvious that it had snowed another 10-15 over night. So instead of the 10-15 we had more like 20-30cm.Much more of a hazard than we had hoped.
But with optimistic hearts we toured up Balu and skied a great run down to the Cougar valley, from there we toured up towards Bagheera. The morning light lit up the upper face and I was scared, I could tell we would not be making it today.We still toured up to an upper basin to look at the slope. But large "whummffffs" and two easy shears in the upper snow pack had us skiing down and looking for other options.
Option C was to tour up and ski north off a col between Copper and Bagheera. By the time we got there my psych was gone and I was ready to head home. Looking north down the couloir I was filled with apprehension. The new snow was deep in the start zone and I felt like it wasn’t a smart decision. So we skied south and had a 5000 foot run to the valley; powder turns morphing into spring carving.
I will be back for Bagheera on the perfect day, when I know all is perfect and can boot pack straight up the middle of this incredible face.