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Eagle Cap Traverse - Low Route

Difficult
 4.0 (1)

A multi-day ski traverse in the heart of one of the West's least known ski traverses.


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Map Key

24.7

Miles

39.8

KM

Ascent

8,430' 2,569 m

High

4,641' 1,415 m

Low

5,997' 1,828 m

Up

6,211' 1,893 m

Down

9%

Avg Slope (5°)

25%

Max Slope (14°)
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Federal wilderness regulations apply.

Description

This a great traverse with even greater potential. Little information exists about accessing or skiing the area in the winter, which is why it is such a great place to go.

Start in either Halfway, OR or Joseph, OR. Follow summer trails while below tree line to avoid having to navigate dense forests; get a good map or GPS file of these trails as they are hard to find in the winter. Good campsites for a four or five-day trip can be found in Norway Basin, along the South Fork Imnaha River, along the North Fork Imnaha River, and at Aneroid Basin (there is a three-sided lean-to shelter with firewood).

The skiing is best in Norway Basin, above the North Fork Imnaha river, and in Aneroid Basin.

Crossing the South Fork and North Fork Imnaha River can be treacherous. Take your time to find a low consequence crossing. While navigating trails, look for marking tape indicating the path of the trail.

It can be bitterly cold and windy in the Wallowas. Be prepared for continental snowpacks, wind loading, and persistent weak layers in the snowpack.

Dont forget to bring whisky and have fun. Keep and eye out for wolves, wolverine, and mountain goats.

Pro Tip: If you start in Cornucopia, OR, contact the local guiding service or snowmobile club for a tow up the 6 miles of Forest Service road to the Cornucopia Lodge.

Contacts

Shared By:

Sam Finch

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#174

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Ascent Rankings

#3

in Oregon

#174

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26 Views Last Month
1,198 Since May 22, 2015
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Photos

Headed up Simmons Creek to Norway Basin. The warm and wet weather is blocking the view of the much larger peaks in the background.  (Photo Credit: Camrin Braun)
Jun 16, 2015 near Joseph, OR
Looking towards Sentinel Peak and wishing we had more time to ski. (Photo Credit: Camrin Braun)
Jun 16, 2015 near Joseph, OR
Getting ready to drop into Aneroid Basin. The snow was "variable" at best.  (Photo Credit: Camrin Braun)
Jun 16, 2015 near Joseph, OR
On the way up the Backyard
Jul 12, 2015 near Joseph, OR
Camp on the South Fork of the Imnaha River after the rain stopped.  (Photo Credit: Camrin Braun)
Jun 16, 2015 near Joseph, OR
Looking down the North Fork Imnaha River to its confluence with the South Fork Imnaha. Lots of skiable terrain. You just need the time, light, and legs to do it.  (Photo Credit: Camrin Braun)
Jun 16, 2015 near Joseph, OR

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