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Home - Hiking - Life on the Edge

Life on the Edge (from Carson Pass)

The Vitals

Directions - Park at Carson Pass South Sno Park area (permit required).

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Locals Tips

Stop by the Divided Sky after for beer and a snack. 

Recommended Gear

Climbing Skins
GPS Device
Backcountry Touring Pack
Hydration Pack

Life on the Edge is a great line for a number of reasons. The terrain offers a number of possibilities, from consistent fall line open bowl skiing to technical cliff hopping. The access is relatively easy. It can be done from Carson Pass or quite easily as a loop from there to Kirkwood. It's good in winter conditions but really plays well in spring. Plus it's got a great log/tree combo for lunch after you ski it. Additionally, there are several fantastic couloirs that can be added to the mix if you like. The line is located behind (south side) the Sisters and is accessed by ascending the Carson Pass side of Round Top to the saddle betwen Round Top and the Sisters. You then scramble across the rock/snow to the left of the Sisters until you reach here. That's always the scary part for me as I hate traversing steep loose rocks in ski boots. Take a deep breath (with or without additives) and choose your line. You can start from where you are or head out the ridgeline. The further you go the more technical it gets, but you also lose vertical and in winter conditions you also are heading towards more wind affected snow. If conditions are good you may want to drain it down to 4th of July Lake but the snow gets more south facing and sun baked as you get towards the lake so I typically end up at the gnarled lunch tree across the shallow basin which is more easily accessed by skiing down from where you accessed the ridgeline. After a break head up to the saddle between Fourth of July Peak and the Sisters and out either to Carson Pass or Kirkwood. Heading back to Kirkwood there are several more yo-yo lines you can do on the way back, but you've always got to keep high left to avoid the Caples Lake drainage.

When entering the backcountry, proper precautions should be taken, including avalanche beacon and the know-how to use it, shovel, GPS, friend, weather information, and common sense. Click here for the latest avalanche advisory

View of Life on the Edge from Kirkwood Snowshoe Hare on the way the the top of the line.Round Top as viewed from the saddle by the first SisterView of Big Blue from the saddle between Round Top and the Sisters
The actual 'edge' of Life on the Edge.The line often offers up excellent powder, despite facing west. Skier enjoying light powder on Life on the EdgeMe and Nacho enjoying a long run
Hutchski and Stoke loving itThis was early 2015 which was not a great yearDropping back to Kirkwood from 4th of July peakThis couloir behind the second Sister can be excellent, but faces south.
View from KirkwoodView of the run from 4th of July PeakLooking back on our turns from the lunch log.Deadwood Summit from 4th of July Peak
Topo of Life on the Edge

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