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  1. #1
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    San Juan Memorial Day Weekend Ski Extravaganza (w/ PICS BELOW!!!)

    The San Juans are simply amazing, and we had an amazing weekend skiing some of the fourteeners down there this weekend. We summitted 4 fourteeners: Wetterhorn, Sunshine, Redcloud, and Handies over the course of 3 days. We covered 21 miles, climbed 11,000 feet and skied 9,500 of them experiencing almost every type of snow imaginable: powder, icy sun cups, soft 3 foot tall sun spikes, hard packed ice, avalanche debris, frozen granular, and the sweet Colorado corn. This will most likely be the end of the ski season for me, last run of the season was from the summit of Handies down American Basin to the tail gate of my brother's Jeep, 2,800 vertical feet of sweet snow. That's a nice way to end the season.


    More pics below!!
    Last edited by Ireallyliketoski; 06-07-2004 at 02:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up

    Way to go Rob! Nice work.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up

    OMFG. 21 miles, 11,000'? That's burly. And super awesome.

    I heart Ireallyliketoski.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Sheesh. I know I couldn't hang with that.

    Nice work.

  5. #5
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    thanks all, I trained pretty well for this weekend so it wasn't that bad. Unfortunately my brother's digital camera wasn't working in the cold temps this weekend, but I snapped some pics with a disposable that I should be able to post in a couple of days.

    Get thee to the San Juans, there is still much snow to be had!

  6. #6
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    This is true, Rob trained very hard. Surprising that I'm not very tired or sore. The trip was by far the best ski mountaineering weekend I've ever had.

    I have some pics that me or my brother will attach....

  7. #7
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    Some pics from Wetterhorn....

    Wetterhorn and Matterhorn Peak. Wetterhorn Peak on the left, the ski descent started just below the summit block at the Keyhole. We made some turns down the face then downclimbed the ridge for a hundred feet to avoid a small unskiable section on the face, then traversed back out onto the face. From there it was all downhill.

    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24581.jpg


    The climb up featured steep funky snow, you can see the small unskiable section (for us) above, it was about 55 degrees, 6 feet wide and covered in sun spikes. The sun spikes were fun to climb, sometimes they became flaring off-widths which you could either pinch grip, lieback, or arm bar.

    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24580.jpg

    Negotiating this type of snow for 1,000 feet at 45 degrees required strength, patience, and a cunning mind to not just throw your skis down the face and walk down.

    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24578.jpg


    more to come....

  8. #8
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    Nov 2002
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    Re: San Juan Memorial Day Weekend Ski Extravaganza (w/ PICS BELOW!!!)

    Originally posted by Ireallyliketoski
    The San Juans are simply amazing, and we had an amazing weekend skiing some of the fourteeners down there this weekend. We summitted 4 fourteeners: Wetterhorn, Sunshine, Redcloud, and Handies over the course of 3 days. We covered 21 miles, climbed 11,000 feet and skied 9,500 of them experiencing almost every type of snow imaginable: powder, icy sun cups, soft 3 foot tall sun spikes, hard packed ice, avalanche debris, frozen granular, and the sweet Colorado corn. This will most likely be the end of the ski season for me, last run of the season was from the summit of Handies down American Basin to the tail gate of my brother's Jeep, 2,800 vertical feet of sweet snow. That's a nice way to end the season.
    This is very cool. Can you be specific about the aspects/locations/elevations/etc where the snow is good and where it's crap?
    Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
    Henry David Thoreau

  9. #9
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    Re: Re: San Juan Memorial Day Weekend Ski Extravaganza (w/ PICS BELOW!!!)

    Originally posted by SheRa
    This is very cool. Can you be specific about the aspects/locations/elevations/etc where the snow is good and where it's crap?
    East aspects are pretty much sun spiked and sun cupped, some slopes were worse than others. The best snow of the trip was on a NW aspect between 13,500 and 12,000 feet in American Basin. Because of the cold temperatures this past weekend we skied most frozen snow. Howerver, if I was going to go to go back I would go to American Basin. It had it all, great access, good snow, and several weeks of skiable lines. The north couloirs of American Peak were particularly impressive, one of the most beautiful places I've been in Colorado.

  10. #10
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    If skiing Handies from American Basin aviod going to the main saddle. We did and had to climb a 4th class low 5th class ridge in our AT Boots. Not too bad just thought provoking. Stay on the northwest side of the ridge or climb the route you want to ski.

  11. #11
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    some more pics from the trip

    Saturday May 29th 2004
    Destination: Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre
    Actual Destination: Wetterhorn
    RT: 6.5 miles 3,700 feet

    Early morning light behind Uncompahgre, the photographer becomes the photographed.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24787.jpg

    climb2ski doing his best Jared Ogden impersonation, the east face rises up and left out of the photograph.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24786.jpg

    Cab the skier, making some thoughtful turns, with Uncompahgre judging the style. Great balance and cool position of the poles, a 9.2!!
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24788.jpg

    Awesome Wetterhorn Peak, it's summit block has still yet to be skied, it requires either 100+ feet of air to a less than ideal landing, or jump turns down 3 inch wide rock ledges.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24785.jpg



    Day 2
    May 30th, 2004
    Destination: Redcloud and Sunshine
    Round Trip: 10 miles 4,200 feet

    Lower down in Silver Creek, the hike up to Redcloud was imbued with constantly improving vistas that stunned you with their beauty.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24796.jpg

    No matter how far you hike, it seems like you can't escape the gapers. This one made it to the summit of Redcloud.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24790.jpg

    Ascending the last hundred feet up Sunshine, an easy way to stand on two 14er summits. The ski descent we took down the south fork valley is visible in the background.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24791.jpg

    Here is climb2ski making some phat turns down Sunshine Peak. Also in this pic is the elusive San Juan Sea Snake, legend holds that he ascends the side of the mountains waiting for the opportunity to snatch skiers unsuspectingly. The giant creature's primary diet is Pocket Rockets, Fristchi Freerides, and Leki Voodoo's.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24793.jpg



    Day 3
    Destination: Handies Peak
    Round Trip: 5 miles 2,800 feet

    After getting a little off route on the ascent, (note to self: climb what you're going to ski) we perserved and made the summit, it was me and my brother's fourth fourteener summit in the last 3 days. We were able to ski right from the summit from all except for Wetterhorn, maybe next year.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24795.jpg

    Immersed in the incomprehensible beauty of the San Juans, American Basin holds several weeks of skiable lines for all abilities.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24794.jpg

    We met up with this dude Matt from Durango and snapped this pic of him skating away the moments of a great day. Many lines abound in this region, as do ton tons.
    http://biglines.com/photos/blpic24792.jpg


    Spring time skiing is when Colorado shines. There are literally several lifetimes of skiable lines all over the state, every ridge you crest reveals another lifetime of skiable possibilites. Skiing the 14ers is a good way to get out and enjoy some long runs with some great views in some outstanding terrain. The memories become eternally etched in the fiber of your being, and no one can take that away.

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up

    FUCK YEAH!!

  13. #13
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    That gaper must be a JONG...... Great pictures Bro.

  14. #14
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    nice work you guys. Great pics and TR. Killer for the end of may.
    More fucked up than a cricket in a hubcap

  15. #15
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    Wonderful stuff! Just great!!! Thanks!
    "When restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible."
    Mohandas Gandhi

  16. #16
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    If you are not sick of seeing footage of this trip here is a 2:40 video of Saturday AM on Wetterhorn. The video contains a fall in magnificent surroundings. Enjoy.

    http://www.eengoedidee.nl/videoz/skiing/wetterhorn.wmv

  17. #17
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    Hunter Thompson described it as hell.
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    Thumbs up

    Matt from Durango didn't exchange nickels by chance? Could be Storm11 from pow-board???

    Great pics, btw.

    Cool vid, soooo many opportunities up there. Good on ya' for including the turns up high, looks nasty.
    Skiing, where my mind is even if my body isn't.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the kind words dudes.

    Nice work on the video bro, the fall by the keyhole is hilarious.

    Not sure if Matt is on the pow-board, he could be, he was certainly cool enough and a ripping tele skier, that's two of the three prerequisites.

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