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|PORTER HEIGHTS BACK BASINS, Ski Touring.||
Grade 1/2 300 metres plus Drive to Porter Heights skifield and consult the ski patrol about back country snow conditions. Porter Height sell a single ride to the top of their lifts for a modest $5. Backcountry skiers are requested to start early (8am) to make use of this single-ride offer. From the top of the highest T-bar, ski out along the snowcat trail to the north (signposted as “Adrian’s Highway” to McNulty’s Basin) for a short way down to a col then put on skins to climb north along the range to point elevations 1997 and 1981, to reach point 2029. A straightforward 3km distance, and 300 metres height gain, from the ski area - roughly 90 minutes travel. Between 1997 and 2029, to your right (east), you look down to a broad snow basin, Crystal Valley, where runs of up to 700 vertical metres can be taken. After good snowfalls in winter down to 1000m, dedicated skiers can ski all the way from point 2029 down to the Porter Heights road, up to 1000 vertical metres of skiing, with perhaps a kilometre of walking at the end. There are good ski basins on the other side of the ridge (the headwaters of the Goldney River) although being north-west facing, they may not always have a good snow cover. From point 1997 a steep gully descends north-west. The climb back up again is just as steep! Also from point 1981 a nice gully descends north to about 1500m elevation. South Face descends from the Blue Hill peak down towards Coleridge Pass to the south. Divert eastwards at about 1350 metres and ski (and walk if necessary) back to the Porter Heights road. This south-facing slope is very exposed to the winds that blow through the pass, so it can be extremely icy at times.