Green Valley

Though it covers a fairly short vertical distance, the Green Valley detachable quad serves up lots of quirky, challenging lines near the summit as well as some steep terrain and speedy groomers.

Traverses:

Summit Traverse | Quality: 1/10 | The road connecting the tops of Rainier Express and Green Valley. Exactly what you would expect: simple and boring.

Considerations: Intermediate, Groomed, Extremely Crowded, Traverse.

Upper Ferk’s (Iceberg Ridge) | Quality: 7/10 | A fun combination of a groomed face and a cat track from the summit to Middle Ferk’s. It can often be the most enjoyable way down Green Valley due to its fast nature. Accesses Sunnyside, Memorial Forest, Middle Ferk’s, Bull Run, Melby’s, and other runs in the Green Valley and Exterminator Areas.  From the top of the Green Valley chair, traverse across the bowl to skier’s right until you reach the ridge on the other side.

Considerations: Intermediate, Groomed, Traverse.

Powder Alley | Quality: 4/10 | A traverse that lets you access West Face without the Exterminator Bootpack. Upper West Face will be less skied out, but this way can still lead to quality snow. The traverse also eventually leads to Banana Chute and Cold Face.

Considerations: Advanced, Traverse.

Grubstake Traverse | Quality: 4/10 | An alternative to the Grubstake Peak Bootpack (which we don’t mention in this section because it mostly lets you access runs in the Snorting Elk area), this traverse can be accessed by making a sharp left immediately after getting off the Green Valley chair then following the obvious traverse back under the chair towards Grubstake (the run). Accesses Grubstake, Stockholder’s, and some other runs in the Snorting Elk area. It can have low snow, so look out for rocks as you’re traversing.

Considerations: Advanced, Low Coverage, Traverse.

Hikes:

Exterminator Bootpack | Difficulty: 2/5 | As Upper Ferk’s and Pro Course join at the top of Middle Ferk’s, a groomed path leads up the hill slightly to the left of the Gondola line. Get some speed coming into the climb so you can coast up the first pitch, then skate or hike up the rest. Accesses the upper portion of West Face, Upper Exterminator, and Banana Chute if you traverse far enough down the ridge at the end of West Face.

Considerations: Groomed, Hike.

On Map:

Green Valley | Quality: 8/10 | An intermediate groomer with many different ways to get down.

Start by diving into the bowl anywhere along the Summit Traverse. The far skier’s left hand side (by the Green Valley chair) will be groomed. At the bottom of this first bowl, either go straight onto Pro Course to get to Middle Ferk’s, West Face, etc. or turn left (by the large shed/outhouse) to continue down Green Valley.

At this point the run fragments into several faces.  All three options are similar: mogully (and sometimes icy) slopes that end in the same place, cutting to the right. Although this run is technically groomed, the sheer amount of skier traffic chops it up quickly.

The three faces join back together at a flat section that quickly splits into three other faces. All three are very similar, although the far right option is the easiest and the far left option needs more coverage to be good. Everything merges back together near the bottom of the lift.

The run might sound hard to navigate, but in truth it’s quite easy to get down.  Just pick a line down, follow the traffic and you’ll end up at the bottom of the Green Valley Express.

Considerations: Intermediate, Groomed, Moguls, Crowded, Many different ways down.

Pro Course | Quality: 8/10 | On the second half of Upper Ferk’s, jump off the ridge and make your way down to the groomed run that goes straight after the first face of Green Valley, then either head left to Bill’s Face or get some speed up and coast up the hill to the top of Middle Ferk’s.

Considerations: Intermediate, Groomed, Speed Required.

Grubstake | Quality: 5/10 | The generic, exposed face directly below the Green Valley Chairlift. Just take the very beginning of the Grubstake Traverse then head down under the lift line. On good days, you see people zooming down this face, enjoying themselves. However on bad days it could pass for a version of Tetris with humans instead of blocks, due to its exposure and iciness.  A cat track at the bottom leads you to the right, onto the Green Valley run.

Considerations: Advanced, Moguls, Icy (most of the time), Low Coverage, Under Lift (easy to embarrass yourself), Avalanche Debris.

West Face | Quality: 8/10 | Take the Exterminator Bootpack (if you want powder) or Powder Alley (if you just want a good run to the bottom of the chairlift), to access this lightly gladed face. West Face is interesting because it is one of the only runs on the mountain that faces northwest. Because of this, the snow conditions on this run can be very different from the rest of the mountain. There are many ways do so jump in wherever it looks good. Just keep in mind that the further you traverse the more elevation you will lose, resulting in a shorter run.

Considerations: Advanced, Powder, Glades, Difficult Access (traverse/hike required).

Off The Map:

Bill’s Face | Quality: 6/10 | The face leading back into Green Valley from the end of Upper Ferk’s. Very similar to most of the intermediate faces in Green Valley, but also lightly gladed. On the far skier’s left side, right before the trees start, there’s a natural half pipe that can also be fun to zoom down. Just look out for fools jumping in.

Considerations: Intermediate, Glades.

Scar Face | Quality: 6/10 | The same slope as Bill’s face, but further to the left and with fewer trees. On the fast groomed section of Pro Course, look to your left and ski down one of the paths that lead through the trees to the top of this face. 

Considerations: Intermediate, Difficult Access (hard to spot).

Stockholder’s | Quality: 7/10 | Take the Grubstake traverse almost to the end, then stop when you see a set of three chutes below you. These chutes can sometimes not be very well covered, but they’re very short so just tough it out so you can get to the run below. Once out of these chutes, you will see a line of trees dividing Grubstake from another face to the left. Go down the face on the left and you will find yourself seemingly stuck. However, there are three ways out from here. Straight ahead (past several cliff signs) lies Lower Chance, while a cut to the right brings you onto a cat track which leads to the Green Valley run. When this cut goes under the chairlift, you have the option of diving into Lower Grubstake in that general area.

Considerations: Advanced, Difficult Access (traversing required), Powder.

Lower Grubstake | Quality: 6/10 | When the cut over from Stockholder’s to Green Valley goes under the chair, jump into the run below. Alternatively, jump into the gladed face just beyond there for an easier variation of the run. The entrance right under the chair can be a little sketchy, as it often involves a near-mandatory air over some tree stumps and rocks.

Considerations: Expert, Gladed, Under Chair (easy to embarrass yourself), Powder, Steep, Scary (from entrance under chair).

Lower Chance | Quality: 4/10 | At the bottom of Stockholder’s, go straight past several cliff warning signs and onto the run below. Basically, this run involves skiing down a nice mellow hill, then running into a layer of cliffs and having to awkwardly side step or jump over them. I’m not sure why anyone would want to do this run, even if you’re an aspiring cliff jumper, as these cliffs are small and more diagonal than vertical.  However, because of the low amount of traffic down this run, there is often a good amount of powder hidden in the top portion.

Considerations: Expert, Cliffs, Powder, Low Coverage.

Cold Face | Quality: 5/10 | The furthest possible option to the skier’s right on West Face, coming down directly above the Green Valley lift line. Accessed by following Powder Alley all the way across, then following the rope line past Banana Chute as far as possible. This run requires lots of snow to be good, is hard to access, and is truthfully a waste of a run down West Face.

Considerations: Advanced, Difficult Access (traversing required), Low Coverage, Above Lift Line (easy to embarrass yourself).

Banana Chute | Quality: 9/10 | An incredible chute skirting the edge of the Rockface.  Access, however, is difficult. You could take the Exterminator Bootpack to the top, then follow the ropeline down the gate, however, I recommend traversing over by Powder Alley, staying high all the way, and finding the gate at the break in the rope line on the far skier’s right of West Face. The chute itself isn’t too narrow, tends to have great, deep snow on good days, and leads onto the first large face by Kelly’s Gap Road. The entrance can sometimes be tight and hard to enter, and is by far the hardest part of the run. Once you take this run, you will have no choice but to head towards the base area, so plan accordingly.

Considerations: Expert, Steep, Difficult Access (traversing or hiking required, hard to spot), Narrow, Powder.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s