"Drift Peak"

"Drift Peak"-Northwest Bowl ascent, Northwest Face ski descent
Distance: ~5.4 miles
Elevation Gain: ~3050'
Rating: D14
Time: ~4 hours
Date: 6/8/2014

Relevant Guide Books:

I've typically reserved Mayflower Gulch for fall & winter backcountry ski tours, overlooking the steeper lines this area has to offer.  Drift Peak's Northwest Face looked like a great objective for late spring.  Martin LeRoux & I were able to drive ~200 yards up the Boston Mine road until we encountered our first snowdrift blocking access to low clearance vehicles.  We continued hiking up the road, then followed the old road briefly where we took our skis off our packs & decided to ascend "Drift" via the Northwest Bowl instead of the standard Villa Ridge as it is a more direct ascent route.  We were able to skin about halfway up the bowl, then transitioned to boot packing at a small band of rocks.  We proceeded to the top of the bowl, then followed the enjoyable ridge to the summit.  At the top, we soaked in the views, but then heard a thunder storm moving towards us from the west, which prompted us to prepare for our descent.  We were able to ski from the summit.  The snow was firm, but consistent.  At the spine splitting the 2 descent gullies, we had to decide which way to go.  We ultimately decided to take the skier's right (north) gully.  There was a ~20' cliff that could only be avoided by crossing over a ~5' rock outcropping.  Taking off & clicking back into our skis was a bit precarious here.  Lower down, there was a lot of avalanche debris.  Good day out, but this line is probably past its prime for the season.

Northwest Bowl ascent (right) & Northwest Face ski descent (left)