Moonlight’s Headwaters

I miss being a Moonlight patroller. At 10,000′, the north-facing chutes in the Headwaters Cirque cirque are cold, windswept and rocky mid-winter. Northwest winds blow the surface of the 1000′-long shots smooth, even with only a dusting of new snow.

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I keep coming back to these photos I took a year ago. That day, Taylor Woodward and I did morning avalanche control on a route called Thirdsidian. (In the image of the Headwaters in alpenglow, the route follows the lookers’ right skyline ridge.) Then we hiked again, past Three Forks and Thirdsidian to the Gum Wall.

The skiing up there varies from a high-speed, pool-table of white velvet, to bulletproof hard-pack and grabby wind-skin, and back again to alpine butter-cream. In spring, when the sun finally hits the Headwaters and the chutes are filled in, it’s an amazing place.


About Emily Stifler

I grew up in Vermont and live in Bozeman, Montana. I love topography: mountains, rocks, weather and people.
This entry was posted in Montana, Mountains, Skiing, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

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