Feb 122013
 

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

Between a rock and a hard place is a pretty good description of the Terminal Cancer Couloir, except the connotation of the phrase is opposite the experience of skiing this unique line. Rumor has it that the two founders of Ruby Mountain Heli Skiing saw the line back in the days of skinny 210 skis and one said, “I wouldn’t ski that thing even if I had terminal cancer!” They skied it the next day!

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

One thing I’ve come to love throughout the years of backcountry skiing, is the phenomenal places you find yourself. True, with hiking and traveling in general, there are moments when the landscape truly envelops you and the scene blows your mind. But, add the experience of skiing in such a moment and it’s a sensation unparalleled. Couloir skiing is all about finding long lines of snow isolated between two rock walls. The Terminal Cancer Couloir is unique in its consistent length, width and pitch. Yesterday was perhaps the most unique skiing experience I’ve had thus far.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

It’s said that a good story needs confict, however, ours has none: I slept in the back of my van; we met at the trailhead at dawn; the road had yet to be plowed so our hike in would be four miles longer; up, up, up the couloir we went switching from skins to bootpacking and then back to skins again; lunch on top; and an amazing descent in new, soft, powder. Regarding backcountry skiing, no conflict is good conflict; it simply means you had a great day, in a great place, with great friends.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

Backcountry skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

  9 Responses to “Skiing :: Terminal Cancer Couloir :: Ruby Mountains, Nevada”

  1. Rad! Your last few blog posts have been epic. So jealous. I just don’t know how you guys can hike up in powder up to your face. Some of that white goodness looks pretty deep. I would only make it about 20 feet but going down I would be pretty good at. :O)

    Love these damn skisploits!

  2. Been reading/dreaming about the Ruby Mountains ever since I saw the film, “Seraphim Falls.”
    Thanks a ton for sharing the awesome photos and rad report! I’ll finally get to make the trip from Carbondale, CO that way this March and really looking forward to it!Again, awesome day out!

  3. I hope your trip goes well and that you score on some Ruby Mountain couloirs! This trip was a one-hit-wonder and I too have been dreaming of heading back for more. Send word and images after your March madness!

  4. Where is this located ? Lamoule canyon on the left side as you go up the road? Below Verdi Pk ?

  5. Do you know of any resources/courses/clubs etc. for learning to ski tour in the Ruby Mountains?

  6. YAAA Craig, looks sick. hope to make it here one of these days!!

  7. Maybe contact Ruby Heli Ski guides?

  8. It’s on the right side of the road while hiking up (south). I’m not familiar with what peaks TC is off of? I hope this helps!

  9. Does anybody have an update on current conditions for T.C.??

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