Trip Report: Skiing the north face of The Devil’s Bedstead, Idaho

Trail Creek Road is a road that passes between Mackay and Sun Valley, Idaho. It accesses some of the most beautiful terrain I have ever laid eyes on, and according to the road closure website run by the state of Idaho, it was closed. Our plan was to drive up to the gate from the Sun Valley side and proceed from there with bikes and backpacks filled with camping gear. We set out on Saturday, April 18th, and the road was steep so we walked and pushed our bikes. Where the road was covered with snow, we sometimes sank in up to our knees. Once we reached the summit of the road, we found that the rest of it was plowed and dry.

The approach was meaty

The approach was meaty

Stoked

Stoked

As we were riding our bikes down the dry road, somebody in a pickup truck was heading up the road. He stopped, bewildered at the sight of two people riding their bikes, laden with backpacks filled to the brim, with skis. Greg and I were then offered a ride to where we were going, and we gratefully accepted. After biking a little longer, ditching the bikes, and walking for another little bit, we found a perfect camping spot. It was literally a stone’s throw from Kane Creek with running water, a flat dry spot for a tent, and right next to where we would begin our ascent the next morning.

Al wanted to take our picture after he dropped us off

Al wanted to take our picture after he dropped us off

A nice campsite

A nice campsite

Because we were planning on driving back to Salt Lake after skiing, we woke up at three in the morning. We casually made some coffee and ate some bars and got ourselves in working order for the day, and then we were off. Hiking up the slope to the east of our campsite was quicker than we thought, and soon we reached the snowline. Skinning up to treeline was quick, and we were presented with a beautiful mountain face ahead of us. We were lucky enough to be able to skin to within 100 feet of the summit. The summit of the Devil’s Bedstead is one of the most stunningly beautiful summits I have ever stood on. There’s not the slightest hint of flat ground visible from it and every peak that you could see had snow on it.

We enjoyed a nice sunrise

We enjoyed a nice sunrise

Stoked on the summit!

Stoked on the summit!

We dropped down off the summit and picked out the most obvious line to ski down. The face is divided by shallow gullies that make for multiple line choices. After this main gully, we traversed skiers left into what we thought was a chute that didn’t cliff out. This happened to be the wrong choice, but after poking around a corner, we found a thin ribbon of snow that let us escape.

Fun skiing

Fun skiing

Great snow

Great snow

Down the gully we go

Down the gully we go

Our route down the face

Our route down the face

After skiing through the trees to the end of the snow, we walked back to camp and packed up. Light clouds were moving in and the bike ride out was cool and pleasant.

The north face of the Devil’s Bedstead is an iconic view. The reason that the mountain is called the Devil’s Bedstead is because it appears to be shaped like a bed, and the Satan lies there tempting skiers away from responsibility with beautiful lines and lots of snow. The peak that we skied off of makes up the headboard, a beautiful one at that. Skiing the fall line down 2400 vertical feet of consistent skiing makes for a great run down a beautiful peak. It’s a peak that any skier can drive by and have their jaw hit the floor.

April 2015 52

Here’s a video

benwhiteskis

Ben likes to ski