Trip Report: 12,241′ Mt. Morrison – “Pitch Fork Couloir”

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from May 11, 2023

Brought to you by Mono County Tourism

After yesterday’s long walk on 13,005′ Mt. Morgan, Owen Leeper, Trevor, and I decided to go for a more bite sized objective today.

After skiing Morgan yesterday was swung through Convict Lake to look at a couloir we’d seen from the road.

It dives right down into the lake and has a fork at the top.

12,241′ Mt. Morrison – “Pitch Fork Couloir”

  • Summit:  10,300′ (actually a ridgeline)
  • Car:  7,600′
  • Vertical From Car:  2,700′
  • Vertical skied:  2,700′
  • Max Pitch:  48º 
  • Avg Pitch: 42º
  • Aspect:  North
  • Distance:  3.5-miles round trip 
  • Time From Car to Top: 2 hours & 40 minutes
  • Car to Car Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Recommended Equipment:  Crampons, Ice Axe x2, Skins, Ski Crampons
Trevor. image: snowbrains

It looked steep, so we’ve called it “Pitch Fork.”

We started hiking today at about 9:30 am.

Around Convict Lake.

Mt. Morrison, CA. image: snowbrains

Up the apron.

Then straight up the chute.

The chute measured 48º of steepness in its guts.

Owen & Trevor on top. image: snowbrains

We booted up (with crampons) the looker’s right fork of the couloir as the snow was getting soft…

The hike took me 2 hours and 40 minutes to the top.

We lingered not due to how soft the snow felt.

“Pitch Fork” on the left. image: snowbrains

Owen dropped first and chose the looker’s right fork that we’d booted up.

I dropped next and chose the skinnier, less soft lookers left fork.

The snow had not softened just yet, but the orange walls covered in green lichens were mesmerizing.

Looking down the chute I skied. image: snowbrains

I scrapped and skittered down the snow, rejoicing in its consistency – if nothing else.

After the two forks collided, I opened it up but found inconsistency in the snow that kept my speed in check.

Then I hit a smooth patch of snow that grabbed my downhill ski and stuffed it under my uphill ski.

Vista. image: snowbrains

A classic tip cross that caused me to crash.

A gentle uphill crash, luckily.

After that, I took it slow until the snow got a bit softer and more consistent.

Booter. image: snowbrains

It took two minutes to ski this couloir!

Definitely a worthy mission.

The hike out along the lake was comical.

Thanks, Mono County!


5/10/23: Trip Report: 13,005′ Mt. Morgan, CA – Nevahbe Ridge Gullies

5/9/23:  Mammoth Mountain, CA, Report: Backflips, Frontflips, 360s & Top-To-Bottom Screamers

5/8/23:  Mammoth, CA Report: Wind-Buff Barrels, Sunshine, & 360s

5/7/23: Mammoth, CA, Report: “Balls To The Wall” Chute on a Cold, Windy, Sunny Mid-Winter Powder Day on May 7th

5/7/23: Sierra Nevada, CA, Report: Earthquake Dome’s “Wiggle Butt” Chute | Round 2 = Faster This Time

5/6/23: Mammoth, CA Report: Full on Winter Snow & Good Times on May 6th

5/5/23: Mammoth, CA Report: Winter Persists With Cinco De Mayo Fun All Over The Mountain in Sun, Cloud, Cold, & Wind

5/5/23:  Sierra Nevada, CA Report: Earthquake Dome’s “Wiggle-Bottom” Chute

5/3/23: Mammoth, CA Report: Full-Throttle Epic Mini-Powder Day After 7″ of New Snow

5/2/23: Mammoth, CA Report: Mini-Powder Day After 550-Mile Drive from Park City, UT Via The Clown Motel

4/30/23: Park City, UT Closing Weekend Report: Hand-Dragging a Slush Wiggle Paradise at 60ºF

4/28/23:  Alta, UT Report: 903″ of Snow Turned “Main Chute” Off 11,068′ Mt. Baldy Into “Main Bowl”

4/27/23:  Alta, UT Report: Legendary Little Chute Off 11,068′ Mt. Baldy

4/26/23: Trip Report: 11,331′ Pfeifferhorn, UT – The North Couloir


Mt. Morrison, CA. image: snowbrains
Starting out. image: snowbrains
Working the lakeshore. image: snowbrains
Icebergs. image: snowbrains
Lakeside. image: snowbrains
Lake walk. image: snowbrains
Walking the lakeshore. image: snowbrains
Up the apron. image: snowbrains
Apron. image: snowbrains
Owen way out in front of us. image: snowbrains
Pinner Couloir. image: snowbrains
Trevor. image: snowbrains
Trevor and Convict. image: snowbrains
Golden walls. image: snowbrains
Booter. image: snowbrains

Trevor on top. image: snowbrains
Convict Lake. image: snowbrains
Trevor in it. image: snowbrains
“Pitch Fork” on the left. image: snowbrains
Still deep in Mammoth

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