Super Gully, Idaho! By peter morrill, idahoptv volunteer

Mackay, Idaho - You’ll never see Super Gully – located in Idaho’s Lost River Range – hawked in any tourist brochures. And you certainly won't find it on the map. But for a few hearty souls who love ski mountaineering, this couloir is pure heaven.

Super Gully is a storied place for crazy folks, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Some have described it as a near vertical ski flume: narrow at the top and broadening out towards the bottom. Early spring provides the best conditions for enthusiasts because the winter snows have stabilized and warm sunny days are the rule.

Looking down Super Gully. Photo by Link Jackson.

To visit Super Gully, you have to get up really early and be prepared for a hard trek and a heavy load. First, you'll be packing in equipment like backcountry skis and boots, an ice axe, a helmet, crampons and avalanche transceivers.

Early morning preparations -- Photos by Peter Morrill

Then there's the hike. It takes four to six hours up dirt, rock and snow. As the crow flies, it's only about two miles, but you’ll be ascending more than 4,500 vertical feet.

Cody Feuz & Paul Gilbreath ascending Super Gully -- Photo by Peter Morrill

Your reward will be a stunning view and a 2,500 foot ski run.

L - Looking north to Mt. Borah, R - South towards Arco -- Photos by Jay Krajic
Photo by Terry Lee

But wait, you're not done: there's still a 2,000 vertical foot descent hike back to the car with all of your gear. Plan to be completely wasted at the end of the day.

Sound like fun? Well for some, this is their idea of weekend nirvana.

So does Super Gully seem like the perfect story for “Outdoor Idaho”? You bet it does!

In fact, Super Gully was the first segment to be produced for the new one-hour documentary “Outdoor Idaho: Land of the Lost River Range” on Idaho’s highest mountain range.

In April 2018, “Outdoor Idaho” followed veteran amateur ski mountaineers Cody Feuz of Boise and Paul Gilbreath from Idaho Falls, as they ascended the Super Gully. Cody is an analyst at HP and Paul is an engineer at INL… which got me thinking: what is it with those technical people?!

Skiers climbing lower Super Gully -- Photo by Peter Morrill

The OI crew was led by Director/Videographer Jay Krajic, assisted by volunteers Terry “The Mule” Lee and myself.

Crew climbing Super Gully -- Photo by Peter Morrill

In the end, it was a fabulous day and we got some stunning video. But, we did have a few hiccups. Unfortunately, one climbing party member took ill about a quarter of the way up the mountain and had to return to the car. The skis that he was carrying were intended for Terry and had to be left at the bottom.

Later in the day, Terry, who was carrying the camera tripod, had to descend Big Gully sans skis. He described the painful journey down the mountain as a “butt and testicle cryogenic treatment.”

Sliding and walking down Super Gully -- Photo by Jay Krajic

And finally, the weather. It was a little too perfect. The temperature warmed the snow into the consistency of mashed potatoes, which made for very tough skiing on the lower half of Super Gully.

After having some time to consider the experience, I think Super Gully is a parable for the larger Lost River Range, with its peaks and ridges that soar majestically 7,000 feet above the valley floor. Although not wilderness, this place exhibits the stately grandeur that we treasure most in wild places.

Few people know much about the Lost River Range, with the exception of Idaho's tallest mountain ten miles to the north, Mount Borah. All of this conspires to make what will be an intriguing subject for “Outdoor Idaho” to explore.

Pictured: Terry Lee, Jay Krajic, Cody Feuz, Paul Gilbreath and Brandon McSparin -- Photo by Peter Morrill

(Cover photo by Peter Morrill)

Created By
Peter Morrill


Photos by Peter Morrill, Terry Lee and Jay Krajic.

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