Backcountry Zones: Bird Brain Couloir

Backcountry Zones: Bird Brain Couloir


Backcountry Zones: Bird Brain Couloir


The Bird Brain Couloir is a great off-day activity at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. From the summit the couloir is easily accessible- no hiking even! The last time I skied the Bird Brain (March 2010) there was established protection, but you should bring your own anyway. Although the first rapp probably isn’t necessary on bigger years, it’s a fairly exposed ski so unless you have balls the size of light bulbs, I’d rappell. Protection is provided by a small tree at the top of the couloir. After lowering yourself into the couloir ski the hanging snow field- snow should be awesome on the the north facing zone that sees few ski tracks.

The second rappell is a must, I don’t care how gnarly a skier you are. Find the safe zone and protection skiers right of the couloir about 20 yards above the second cliff. It might be possible to get away with one 60m rope on the second rappell but that would require skiing the mega-exposed fin below the cliff- once again, you’d want balls the size of light bulbs for this. Otherwise, plan on bringing two 60m to complete the second rappell.

The Bird Brain isn’t the greatest ski, but it sure is an awesome adventure. Will get the heart pumping and orifices puckered!

Access: Jackson Hole tram

Equipment: beacon, probe, shovel, harness, belaying device, 120m of rope, half rack, partner.

Time: 3+ hours base to base

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