Keelhaul is a short trail that starts just above where Jibe comes out of the woods and cuts over to the T bar. To access it, simply look up the hill from Jibe rather than across the ski trail, and it begins fifty yards away. It continues rooty and rocky switchbacks before making a turn across the ski trail and back into the woods to end near the bottom of Pitch Pole just after the substantial bridge across the gully.
It also has a b line or alternative section that can turn it into a loop. Shortly before the end, after crossing the ski trail but before the bridge, you can go left instead. From here, it winds out to the T bar lift and then cuts back across the ski trail to rejoin Keelhaul a couple of switchbacks below where you had initially turned off the switchbacks to cut across the ski trail the first time.
The section of the trail where Keelhaul cuts across the mountain can be very confusing, as there are one or two other older trails in the area. Also, the trees get sparse and it can be hard to distinguish the exact location of the switchbacks. If you're climbing and come to the Dreadnought sign, you have gone a couple of switchbacks too far to hit the cut across. Those switchbacks represent the start of what used to be the up portion of the Pitch Pole Trail but were renamed in 2013 to "Spanker." This is to help distinguish from the down portion of Pitch Pole, which is keeping the name and is also nearby.
This is part of the "Race Course" climb, which starts with the first half of Jibe, continues on most of Keelhaul, and finishes with Spanker in its entirety.
Shared By: Ed Parrot