20090423 Hall of the Gods Couloir

After Tuesdays tour, Jason told me about a tick he's had for five years:  to ski Hall of the Gods Couloir on Angora Peak.  I knew next to nothing about this end of the Lake, but the few photos that we found were spectacular.  Spring skiing means hiking, but we wore sneakers up the Angora Road (gate at 6800') until we reached the parking lot (photo above).  From there (7300') we skinned to the summit of Angora Peak (8580') before dropping down and around Indian Rock.
The final traverse was across a knife-edge before reaching the left-hand entrance, which was melted out.  That was ok with us - we wanted to ski the central line anyways.
All three entrances were easy to spot on the approach from Indian Rock.  I booted out to a point on the right side to scope the descent and get an idea of the snow conditions.  From the top I could just make out a rock in the choke point.  The couloir was still ski-able but this was a no-falls descent. Loosing an edge in the top half of this would mean pin-balling off the sides until hitting the chockstone.  Ouch.  The 50+ feet above the chockstone was too tight to turn, so we sideslipped:
After making it past that crux we discovered another chockstone.  And the passage was still too narrow to turn so we kept being ski mountaineers and side-slipped some more.
Finally the couloir started to open up enough to make turns again.
From below, we could almost see the entire 1100', 50+ degree couloir.  While skinning back up Jason apologized for being so far behind.  "I keep stopping to gawk," he said.  "It just keeps looking bigger!"
We enjoyed a few more turns down the East Bowl of Echo Peak to the Angora Lakes, before making our way back to the parking lot, shoes, and a walk down the ridge to the gate and our car.