Backcountry Skiing Camas Peak Movie

Headplant Movie; East Bowl Movie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camas Peak.

 

 

West of Charlo Heights in the Bitteroot Valley, Camas Peak is accessed via a forest service road off of Lost Horse Road. Drive vehicle as close to Camas Lake Trailhead at about 6000 ft as snow conditions allow. From there use trail to access Camas Creek. Once at creek after two miles leave trail and ascend south to bench which will take you west toward Kidney Lake. From Kidney Lake there are a couple ridges that will safely take a skier to the summit of this great, pyramidal snowy peak. Camas Peak is a beautifully shaped peak with a wide open east face ski run directly off the rocky summit down to Kidney Lake. There is a north face ski as well that ends at a cliff band before dropping further down into Camas Creek canyon. This summit ridge continues west for miles with epic ski descents up to 3500 ft into the North Fork of Lost Horse Canyon. The Camas Peak area is popular with snowmobilers as well. They access the basin typically from Hayes Creek, the next drainage south. There is a lot of terrain in the Camas Peak area. Skiing off the summit to Kidney Lake is the main objective of most parties. The glades north of the summit are good skiing for bad weather and high avalanche hazard days. Gaining the upper northeast ridge requires traversing short steep open slopes. Be sure to spread out here. This is the standard approach and once on this ridge gaining the peak is straightforward if exposed and steep. Skiing east off the summit requires negotiating a rock outcropping that typically fills in by midwinter. This is another avalanche slope with broken tree evidence at the lake. Below the summit it moderates considerably, passes through a larch glade before rolling over onto steeper and again open terrain for another good distance before moderating into gentle slopes on the way to the lake. A great spot for a tour during good visibility if wanting to ski from the summit. There are many terrain possibilities in the area besides Camas Pk. The trailhead is snowed in by midwinter requiring a decently long road tour. Otherwise from first or second switchback ascend directly up ridge to gain trail at turn into canyon. Get an early start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

4-24 When I returned home the blue sky was bright but with unpacking and chores to do I did not get into the mountains until Friday. The cold front had passed leaving a fairly even dusting throughout the Camas Creek drainage. Ten minutes up the ridge to join the summer trail and I had already crossed fresh wolf tracks. I skinned up the drainage and over into the Roaring Lion drainage and skied north from the first point of Ward three and then onto the second summit which boasts a fine east face with some chutes. Skiing east off the summit I hit the rollover to find that the bowl had slid and I managed a decent line down to the low angle cliffs at the bottom. I had to down climb some rocks and trees to get back onto the skis and finish the run. From there I skied south and back into Camas Creek and booted up the north face of Camas Peak 2 to ski this short fine line. From the summit of Ward three I had spied a thin sliver descending from the ridge separating Camas from the next subdrainage of Roaring Lion. I headed for it and in a snow squall scoped this steep, hard, thin line before slowly descending it to the bottom. What a thrill. There was a rock talus and snow climb exit on the west face to return to Camas Creek. Contouring east and south I gained the Camas Peak ridgeline and with sweeping views down into the North Fork of Lost Horse and south towards Koch Peak and El Capitan I plodded onto the summit of Camas Peak where I peeled the skins for the final run down to Kidney Lake. An excellent day of touring on generally hard snow surfaces with delightful moments of full sun, partly cloudy and full snow squall weather. What a day to be alive!