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  • CJ Wolf

Skiing the Birthday Chutes in White Pine Fork

Fast Facts:

  • Base Elevation: 7,650

  • Peak Elevation: ~10,950

  • Days Vert: 3,500 (per strava)

  • Distance: 7.60 miles

  • Elapsed Time: 4:00

  • Date: Jan 28, 2024

Two days prior, I ventured into White Pine Fork on skis for the first time and I was blown away by all of the possible lines. When I got on top of West Scotties ridge, I saw a solo line coming down the king Birthday Chute line and I was impressed, determined and shocked that someone skied it given that the avalanche forecast was "considerable" for that day. The avalanche danger was dropping so when my buddy suggested that we ski the Birthday Chutes on the 28th, I was committed.

We left the White Pine parking lot around 6:30 AM under a full-moon.

Full moon touring

As we got into the heart of the drainage, the sun was starting to rise and we were treated to an amazing alpenglow over Sunrise Peak. It is always hard to get out of bed when the alarm goes off at 4:30 AM but it is moments like this that make it worthwhile.

We made it to the turn off towards the Birthday Chute bowl in 1:10 and it was 2.6 miles and 1,400 of elevation gain. When you turn off, you start heading towards Temptation Ridge. You will crest a rollover and you will then be at the the base of the Birthday Chutes and it becomes more apparent which direction to go.

Birthday Chutes

The most common route is to cross under the chutes heading towards the western ridge separating the Birthday Chutes and the Tri Chutes. Once you get on this ridge, you will have a great view of Pfeiffhorn and Lake Peak, pictured below respectively.

The ridge starts out rather moderate but it starts getting steep.

Brady on the Birthday Chute western ridge

Our plan was to ski the farthest skier's right line as it was untouched so we elected to climb up the ridge further than was required than skiing the skier's left lines. In hindsight, we climbed too far up and it started to wrap into Long John Silver line and it got rocky. Note to self- don't wrap into Long John Silver next time and just go left along the top of the ridge to access the main lines.

We got to the top in 3 hours which was now about 9:30. As usual, the top was wind scoured and the first 100 yards of skiing was very firm. As we got on top of the chutes, Luke went first and dropped into the far skier's right line and he set so he had eyes on Brady and I. We elected to take the middle chute while Luke watched us. We all had radios and were communicating as we skied the chutes one by one. I skied the left side of the main chute which has a really nice pitch and untouched turns. Brady ripped up the gully of the main chute and Luke had fresh turns throughout the right chute.

Here is a video of our adventure.

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