Members of group: Ben Koelker, Chapin Johnson, and Zach Taylor.
ascent route: ridge between the top of chair 8(Cinch Express) and Grouse mountain summit.
descent route:off the west slopes and down into the drainage with Turqouise and Beaver lakes.
trailhead: Beaver Creek chair 8 backcountry access gate
Grouse Mountain sits out in the far reaches of the backcountry behind Beaver Creek. I had seen it on my topos and glimpsed it from the Bald spot and some of the backcountry areas closer to Beaver Creek. I had met Ben and Chapin last season on a hike out to the Y's in another backcountry area of Beaver Creek. We struck up a conversation and began doing some backcountry riding together. Ben has spent extensive time in the backcountry areas surrounding Beaver Creek and has shown me many great lines in these areas. When Ben asked me if I wanted to check out Grouse I quickly said yes. We met at the bottom of chair 6 at 9:00 am and headed up the mountain. We skinned out the access gate at the top of Chair 8 and out to the Bald Spot behind the ski mountain.
We then continued along a long ridge that led us from the Bald Spot to the summit of Grouse Mountain.
photo-A view of the West Grouse Creek headwall and the summit of the Bald spot. Beaver Creek mountain is directly behind out of view. photo by Zach Taylor, 2009.
We hung out on the summit for a while taking in the view of the jagged York range all around us and making plans for further exploration of the York range.
Then we strapped in and descended the west slopes down into the drainage with Turquoise and Beaver lakes. The snow was sastrugi up high and powder once we got into the trees. We came into the bottom of the drainage between the two lakes and began the 1.5 hour skin out to the north back to Beaver Creek Mountain.
photos- Ben(left pic) and Johnson(right pic) hanging out on Grouse Mountain. photos by Zach Taylor, 2009.
photo- A view of the York range to the west of Grouse Mountain. photo by Zach Taylor, 2009.