“A west-facing line to check out after a deep snow event, awesome during the sunset when alpenglow lights up the snow.”
— J. Bella
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Wilderness area, no mechanized vehicles, drones etc.
The lines on Wheeler Peak's west side are usually wind scoured by strong westerly winds that move snow over the ridge to the east side and into the Middle Fork, Lost Lake, and Horseshoe Lake basins. A large cornice develops on that side, and the west side is often left with bare rocks and grasses exposed. The bighorn sheep love it; for riders and skiers it makes for easy hiking across the tundra to access the chutes and alpine faces that hold snow.
When a big storm comes through the region, especially during a heavy spring, these westerly slopes provide some awesome big mountain riding. When the snow is deep enough this is a moderate line down a sub-ridge, then contouring down a glacial moraine deposit above treeline. Follow the flow of the terrain past some small trees to the right, into a short northwest facing gully that drops into the Hidden Chute
. These terrain features below treeline act as a sluice and catch snow when winds scour the upper slopes of the line.