Ruby Mts, NV Report: Terminal Cancer Couloir

Miles Clark | BackcountryBackcountry

Report from January 27th, 2020

Brought to you by Alpenglow Expeditions

I awoke at 3:15am.

I drove.

I drove east for 5-hours from Lake Tahoe, CA to the Ruby Mountains, NV.

Rob hiking up Terminal Cancer. image: snowbrains

My goal was the legendary, 1800-vertical-foot Terminal Cancer Couloir.

I arrived at 8:30am and met Rob in the parking lot.

It had snowed about an inch with wind the night before.

Terminal Cancer. image: snowbrains

We crossed a creek, skinned up about 20 minutes, then dug into a deep bootpack.

Rob went first, then I waited.

I waited for the wind.

Terminal Cancer. image: snowbrains


The wind was gusting powerfully and throwing snow off the barren cliffs atop the chute walls into the couloir.

Once the wind had done its work, I dropped in.

The Salt Flats, UT. image: snowbrains

The tight walls of the chute were restricting.

The skiing was intense, the walls surreal, the snow fast.

I breathed hard.

I worked hard.

Reno, NV at 4:15am. image: snowbrains

I was elated at the bottom.

I drove 4 more hours to Park City, UT.

I was high off this line for 29 hours.

Battle Mountain, NV at dawn. image: snowbrains

I plan to ski this line 5 more times this winter.

The Terminal Cancer Couloir is one of the 50 Classic Descents of North America.

The day after this, I skied another 50 Classic Descent:  Mt. Superior, UT.

The road to Terminal Cancer. image: snowbrains

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