Perched between Little Morrison and Mount Morrison North, Morrison Col and the hanging valley dropping off its north side offer a worthwhile ski descent when other classic Convict Lake area objectives simply aren't skiable during low snow years.
More frequently approached from the south side as part of a longer ski tour loop around Little Morrison, Morrison Col can also be approached directly from Convict Lake by climbing up the north aspect below Mount Morrison. While the approach requires some minor bushwhacking and a serious slog up a steep 1,300-foot lower slope that may be snow-free, the up close and personal experience with Mount Morrison's immense east facing buttress, the White Fang, offers a unique east-side high alpine ski experience.
From the Convict Lake Trailhead follow the trail along the south side of the lake. At the west end of the lake, break off on a small spur trail after crossing a creek bed as you navigate west through a large aspen grove. Continue west toward the steep north facing slopes of Convict Canyon opposite Laurel Mountain. Choose one of the many unmaintained climber trails and begin the push up the north facing slope that rises toward Mount Morrison North. Be sure to evaluate for stability if the lower slope has snowpack, as this is in prime avalanche terrain.
Assuming the lower slope is dry (or safe and stable), climb to a bench at 8,900 feet. From here you can see the hanging valley below Mount Morrison North’s east buttress and the skinning route to the col. Ascend the valley to the col, soak in the views of the surrounding peaks, and return the way you came for the descent.
A note for consideration: consider this climb and ski a low snow year option or good training for bigger objectives and you'll likely be pleasantly surprised. Remember, you're likely skiing here because you can't ski elsewhere due to of low coverage.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.