Tags: Anaconda Pintlars, Backcountry skiing the pintlars, Skiing Warren Peak
Last Saturday, Ben and I made the drive to Anaconda to ski its signature peak directly southwest of town. Mount Haggin’s foothills rise straight from town and we parked at the church before riding bikes up the two track. The road is gated to protect the city’s water supply. With a 2000′ climb on a jeep trail, through a prairie and then beautiful aspen grove, we stashed the bikes at the second creek crossing and proceeded another mile or so before gaining a permanent snowpack at around 7500′. With a direct approach and ascent made easy by supportive snow and a well laid out mountain, we were skinning the summit bowl in full sunshine admiring the fine moderate ski run and bear tracks in them by noon. We reached the summit by 1:00p.m. and were greeted by a stiff wind and slightly chilly wind. With great views off the backside to other good looking ski descents in Mill Creek we watched a few alpine birds flit around grubbing on the snow bugs. The summit snow had recrusted just barely and we skied a hundred vertical before easing onto perfect summer corn. With no steep pitch, there were no runnels or debris to distract the skis and the schuss back down to the lake was very smooth on summer corn. Mount Haggin is a great big moderate ski run worthy of anyone’s attention. Back to the bikes and we had a fast ride out working forearm muscles on the brakes the whole way. I highly recommend the use of bikes on the approach. Ben and I managed without suspension, but it would have been amazing had we had it. With its dominance on the Anaconda skyline, it was good to get up there and ski the peak that we all look at while driving by on the highway. We spent the evening scoping out the trailhead to Warren Peak which we hoped to ski the next day with Brian. After a long day we made a second dinner in the hills west of Phillipsburg, set the alarm for five and sacked out.