Ruby Mountains, NV Report: Terminal Cancer Couloir in Rowdy Conditions

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from March 18th, 2020

Yesterday, I left Lake Tahoe, CA and its extremely deep powder to drive back home to Park City, UT.

I was isolated. 

Looking down. Terminal Cancer Couloir. image: snowbrains

Extremely isolated as I spent the day solo in my car driving through one of the lowest population locations on Earth.

I hiked up and skied the legendary Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains, NV solo.

I saw 10 different people come out of the chute before me, but we didn’t interact.

The climb up was pleasant – my mind wandering in the solitude.

Looking down. Terminal Cancer Couloir. image: snowbrains

The snow was firm, dust on crust, creamy, punchy, weird, and fun.

I had skied this line back in late January in wind-buffed conditions on my big skis and I was excited to come back and hit on my baby skis.

The baby skies rocked it.

Terminal Cancer Couloir. image: snowbrains

Much more nimble and agile and fast and fun.

I ripped down breathing as hard as I could skiing as fast as I could.

It was a rush to watch the walls whizzing by.

Looking down. Terminal Cancer Couloir. image: snowbrains

It was wild to occasionally hear my tails go “Click” against the rock walls.

I emerged from the couloir breathless, elated.

Terminal Cancer is a ridiculously great way to break up the drive across Nevada.

Terminal Cancer Couloir. image: snowbrains

Tips: 

  • I didn’t have crampons nor ice-axe but I wish I’d have had crampons at least – I will bring them next time.
  • You can boot all the way up the to chute right now from the road and skins aren’t needed due to the low snow/firm snow.
  • The bottom is melting out fast and it may not be skiable down to the road soon.
Headed out.  The Ruby Mountains, NV. image: snowbrains
Extreme isolation. image: snowbrains
Going in.  The Ruby Mountains. image: snowbrains

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2 thoughts on “Ruby Mountains, NV Report: Terminal Cancer Couloir in Rowdy Conditions

    1. When I did it in January, I skinned for about 20 minutes to base of the chute, then booted the chute. This time, I just booted it all the way up from the road since there was low snow and the snow was firm down low. I don’t know about skinning around to the top. If there is a route, I believe that it would be quite long. Thanks

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