Forums Trip Reports TR: Bottleneck Classic Couloir, WY
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    The snowfall and snow conditions this season has been truly stellar and rewarding for the backcountry crew! The past couple of weeks, conditions have been ripe for couloir picking, and this weekend we experienced another fine crop. Saturday it was time to go harvest a beautiful couloir that I have had on my mind since last year, the Bottleneck Classic.

    Friday afternoon, my regular ski partners had other plans and could not make it. I let the fingers do the Internet-talking and soon a posse was rounded up. Slippy, from TGR forum pm’d me and said he was interested. By the time I got home, another ski buddy, Ken, called and said he was in. So plans were made, and we were set to do some pickin’.

    The next morning, I picked Ken up and we headed to the trailhead. Slippy showed up with his friend, Phil, also from Wink Inc. and we had a crew. We had four, the perfect number for a snowmobile tow-in to the trailhead. It is amazing how nice things come together sometimes. Good karma.

    The objective: The Bottleneck Classic in the Pinnacles.

    Looker’s left of Bottleneck Classic is Chockstone Dog-Leg. To the right, Diagonal Couloir:

    Ken, Slippy, and Phil headed toward the Bottleneck Classic, just to the left of the Diagonal:

    Slippy (aka Matt) making small work of the skin up to Bottleneck Classic:

    Nice views with the sun poking in and out of the clouds:

    The apron:

    Phil in the apron:

    Slippy and Phil setting the boot-pack up the couloir. Thanks again guys!


    Wysplit_ride and Ken following the stairway to heaven. Photo: Matt Sheridan:

    Slippy and Phil dig a quick pit. About as good as it gets. Nice pow on top of hard pack from early warming period. Gonna be a great harvest.


    Such an aesthetic line:

    Slippy checks out the otherside (in the crack) and Phil gets ready for a great ski down:

    A little bit of exposure on the top of the couloir:

    Phil trying to get the top to sluff:

    We really didn’t find any instabilities (just the top fresh snow on hard crust). Phil threw a ski cut and got it to sluff a bit.

    Slippy had the honors of putting down first lines. He schralped it and didn’t stop to look back. He did end up cutting a lot of sluff down, but it didn’t faze him. Slippy many turns later:

    Likewise, Phil gets in on the goods:


    Here is the original local, Ken D., going for it! Twenty years in these mountains and he has not lost a beat. Supa inspiring:

    Wysplit_ride bringing up the rear. Photos: Matt Sheridan

    We dropped a great ridge back down to the trailhead.
    Slippy, Ken, Matt getting ready to drop back down another 1000-1500 feet;

    Finally, the ride back to the truck. Phil and Ken getting towed. Think Phil likes it? Photo: Matt Sheridan:

    What a wonderful line to have finally ticked off the list, and in stable powder conditions. Riding these lines when they are not ice-hard is heaven. Wyoming hero snow fo’ sure! I really enjoyed riding/skiing with these boys…good peeps all the way around. Glad we could do it and hope we can hook up again. Let it snow!

    affix snow
    521 Posts

    Always great TR’s!

    Nice work.

    282 Posts

    I knew you were gonna head there! My loss should’ve hopped in the car on friday. Nice job, so what couloirs haven’t you hit on pinnacles?

    4150 Posts

    WSR and another epic couloir report, who woulda thunk?! 🙂

    Great pics man! Cool to see more cross pollination too (tgr/slippy). 8)

    2486 Posts

    I love it. Your best posts always have someone with the board on their back. When I see that I know what to expect next. Nice . Weather is warming up here. Get your sandals ready

    947 Posts

    speechless. 😯


    Thanks guys…wish I could have been there for the splitfest stoke. Looks like you all had great conditions.

    P420-I have already been eyein’ the sandles and shorts. Daydreams have been taking me to that almighty secret break of yours. Just got a new 3/2 fullsuit and making plans tonight with the fam. It’s on.

    1421 Posts

    @Wyomingsplit_ride wrote:

    Wysplit_ride and Ken following the stairway to heaven. Photo: Matt Sheridan:

    Wow, nice shot. What a beautiful line. What would you estimate the angle at in there?

    27 Posts

    Slayin’ that couloir. : 😀


    jimw-thanks…I believe that the couloir ranges from 45-50 degrees, but I don’t quote me on that. I really do need to start bringing the inclometer again, but then again I might psych myself out measuring slopes 😯

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