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Michael C Wirth Dances With the Devil’s Bedstead on Borah Peak

Michael C Wirth is on a mission to ski as many Classic Ski Descents as he can in a single season — and he just checked Devil's Bedstead off the list.

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Idaho has some big backcountry skiing. And Wirth has been working his way across it, hitting one classic descent after another. For his final Idaho descent, the Aspen valley native marched deep into the wilderness in pursuit of Devil’s Bedstead.

The ski route comes off of the tallest peak in the Potato State, Borah Peak, at 12,667 feet. The Devil’s Bedstead is a north-facing slope that looks nearly vertical from the trailhead that Wirth starts out from.

But it’s even steeper when he gets up onto it.

The climb looks gnarly, and for much of it, Wirth had to use his ice axes to pull himself up the sheer side of the mountain. By the time he reached the top, it was getting dark. But Wirth transitioned quickly and made the descent.

And it doesn’t exactly look like he’s skiing champagne powder all the way down. The snow is windblown on the Bedstead. Even in the couloir he dives in toward the bottom, the conditions are crusty. But Wirth isn’t skiing descents like the Devil’s Bedstead to hit the perfect conditions. He’s doing it because he’s challenged himself to ski as many of the 50 classic ski descents in North America as he can in a single season.

And now, he can check the Devil’s Bedstead off the list.

Runtime: 8 minutes

Michael Wirth skis castle peak; (photo/Michael Wirth)

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