Mill D North
Submitted By: Shumaker on December 15, 2012
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|Elevation Gain:||Varies but usually around 2K|
There are two major east facing bowls to descend along the north side of the ridge. They are pretty obvious to find. One drops from very near the summit down to 13,100'. The second begins just past the flat section of the ridge and drops to treeline at 11,600. You can avoid the lower bowl if desired and ski right down the ridge crest, but the bowl has better skiing. Just make sure you don't drop too low at the bottom, or you'll have to climb back to the trail.
From treeline, follow the trail back to your car. Do not ski to the south directly down the fall line to Blue Lakes Road, though this is tempting... you will be trespassing on private property.
The East Bowls are moderate in difficulty - about D3-D4. For more info on the D-system for rating ski descents, see here: http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/ratings/ski-board-d-rating-system.html. They are steep enough to slide, but are one of the safer spring ski descents. This route is not recommended in winter because it will most likely be wind scoured most of the time.[more]
Mill D North offers a wide variety of touring and is a popular destination on high avalanche days and for novices. There are plenty of single area tours available and some great circuits. Some more frequented areas in Mill D North are Tom's Hill, Reynold's Peak, Weathering Heights, Dog Lake, Wally's World, Rude Boys, Powder Park and Short Swing. Parking for Mill D North is at the Spruces Campground. This is a popular drainage on the weekends and the early bird gets the worm! (and a decent parking spot!). One will pass a few cabins at the beginning of this tour so please be respectful to property owners. High points, Reynolds Peak 9,422, Peak 9,990, Little Water 9,605.
How to Get There
From the electric sign in Big Cottonwood Canyon, head east up canyon for 11 miles to the Spruces Campground area (signed) on the south side of the road. Cross to the north side of the road to the always obvious skin track heading northwest towards the Mill D cabin community. There is always a skin track heading through the cabin community and past the green gate to the upper Mill D area.
Be respectful to local property owners in this area.
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