Terminal Cancer

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Valentines day fell on a long weekend in 2016, so my girlfriend and I headed to the Ruby mountains of Nevada to ski the Terminal Cancer Couloir which is one of Chris Davenport's 50 classic skis of North America. Rumor has it that the guides at Ruby Mountain Heli Ski spotted this line from the chopper and said, "you'd have to have terminal cancer to ski that!", according to legend, they skied it the next day, so maybe they had terminal cancer. The couloir is actually off the Lamoille canyon road which is closed in the winter, and 11ish hour drive from LA, best to break it up. After work we drove up and slept in Mammoth and then drove to elko via Benton hot springs.

Around noon on the 13th we got to the end of the plowed road in Lamoille Canyon outside of Elko. Many, many locals use the road to dick around with their snowmobiles and giant trucks. A number of small children were being pulled on sleds by giant trucks, looked like fun. The walk in was a slightly uphill 6ish mile slog, but not too bad, we got to camp below the couloir with still a couple hours of daylight.

Nafeesa and I had decided to camp at the base of the couloir so we didn't have to wake up too early the next day as temps were forecasted above freezing by 10am. The night was cold because I found out that my therm-a-rest had a hole in it, but I had a -20 F bag and my backpack did OK as a sleeping pad, so I made do. In the morning we woke to a little surprise storm that dropped 2 inches of soft snow on us.

From the tent at the base of the couloir, it took us a couple hours to get up the thing, but the skiing down it with 2 inches of fresh could not have been better. Skiing out the wasn't too bad either, and we headed to the local casino for some delicious inland fish and chips!!

Route to Terminal Cancer, Lamoille Canyon Rd, Ruby Mtns, NV
Looking Up Terminal Cancer
Surprise Storm Gave us Soft Snow
Staying Warm With now Sleeping Pad
Topping out of Terminal Cancer
Nafeesa Leaving no Turn Unturned