Rain: Graupel Gully

Rain Peak is the 13130-foot summit that is opposite Silverthorne Peak and directly to the Northwest of Salmon Lake. One can ski right to the summit even in January, and it then offers a 4000-foot descent back to the Willowbrook trailhead down the Salmon Lake and North Willow Creek trails. On May 18-20, 2007, Christian Caslin and Charlie Ziskin camped out near Salmon Lake and skied the gully that drops SSW from the summit of Rain down to the tarn above Salmon Lake, where they then found additional quality turns down to the lake itself. They called the line Graupel Gully; it has steepest angle 42 degrees and they rate it D8, observing that it is similar to Buffalo's North Couloir in spots.


The photo above shows Christian Caslin skiing the upper section of their line. (Photo by Charlie Ziskin). The summit of Rain is shown below, with Graupel Gully being the rightmost line in the photo. The rock section to the left goes to Silverthorne Peak and can be climbed in summer with one 5.1 pitch.


And here is a view from well across the valley taken after a descent of Red; June 10, 2008.


Rain Peak also allows a straighforward ascent from the Willowbrook trailhead in mid-winter, which I have done twice on light touring skis. On Jan 8, 2003, Katie Larson and I were able to stay on skis right to the summit. On Jan. 13, 2011, Jonathan Kriegel and I left our skis 200 feet below the summit, climbing the rest of the way. It is 4000 feet down from the summit to the trailhead.

Here is a view of Silverthorne Peak and the Easter Bunny couloir on right from the plateau below Rain's summit.


Jonathan climbing the wintry rocks.


And descending the same area. Why is he carrying four poles you might ask? My boots were NNN/BC boots, and so I had to be specially careful on the rocks (Jonathan had classic three-pin boots), and so passed my poles to him on this stretch.


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