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Backcountry Skiing on Pilot Peak (Idaho)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Halfway between Idaho City and Lowman, which is kind of like saying "in the middle of nowhere", is a popular little area that offers a wide variety of backcountry skiing options.  The primary access point for a lot of these popular routes is at the top of Mores Creek Summit on Idaho Highway 21.  About an hour and half drive from Boise you can access Pilot Peak, Freeman Peak and Sunset Peak from the Parking Lot at the top of Mores Creek, (about 6,100 elevation). 

I made my first backcountry trek into Pilot Peak this past weekend and had a great time.  For me, this is one of those places that I never thought to look at as I set my sights on bigger objectives like the Tetons over in Wyoming.  These aren't the Tetons, BUT there is litterally hundreds of good lines to be had in the 300 to 1500 vertical range.  (The climb to the summit of Pilot is right at 2000 feet).  The key point here is that many times we are looking for the "big exciting" stuff that requires big budgets to get to and enjoy, and in fact we may have some tremendous opportunities right in our own backyard.  My budget for this trip was a 1/4 tank of gas and a soda and snacks in Idaho City as we headed back to Boise.

What to expect:

The good: Glade skiing, gullies, a lot of pitches in the 25 - 35 degree range.  We skied some steeper chutes right below the summit, as seen in the video.  360 degree options for terrain.  Easy access and lower risk options.

The bad: Primarily the potential for encounters with snowmobiles - it is also a very popular snowmobile area.  I did notice however, that the main snowmobiling tracks were not really conflicting with the areas where we skiied, or areas where I would ski.


One other point on snowmobiles and access.  If you choose to, as we did, you can use a groomed snowmobile trail to access the upper ares of the mountain.

If you want to see the topo and/or download GPS data of this route, visit: http://hi-adventure.com/pilot-peak-trek/


Here is a video of some of our highlights:

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post #2 of 5

Great video. Little late.


Lived in Boise for 5 years and didn't know that there was a place so close that I could back country ski. Very excited to check this out next season.

post #3 of 5

Nice video and good editing.  Even the "bad" snow looked pretty appetizing.  Our season is long over around here and not enough time off for a trip out west.

post #4 of 5

Nice edit. Conditions look like crust and heavy corn. Must have warmed up plenty..


@northeasterner - skiing at Killington was pretty good yesterday. Jay is good and Loaf is still blowing snow. A trek for NJ but, I live in NYC - drive up every weekend. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Glad you guys enjoyed the video.  The TR was actually from a trip 3 years ago in January.  A person might get some spring corn on some of those aspects right now, but the snowpack up there is probably going fast now, (in that specific area).  Another hour up the road in the Sawtooths, it will hold well into May/June this year.  Maybe even some July skiing in some of the couloirs!  :-)

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