Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
    Posts
    6,074

    Old TR: Spring 2013 Ski Mountaineering

    The winter of 2012/2013 will never be remembered as one of Colorado's best. It took a long time for winter to start... yet, a series of strong March and April storms plastered the high peaks with the kind of wet, sticky goodness that makes or breaks a Colorado ski mountaineering season. This year was a good one for those looking to tag big steep lines on the higher peaks.

    We started the playoff season off in early May with a Front Range classic, the Dragonstail Couloir in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    The north face of Longs Peak was in, but barely.


    The Dragonstail boasts 1700' of aesthetic and steep turns:

    (Photo by Franz)



    Next skiracer88_00 and I headed up Stevens Gulch to have a look at the steep and exposed east face of Torreys:


    Unfortunately, a late start and rapidly warming temps left us with some major doubts as to the stability of this solar face. After a series of natural wet slides poured off the steep and cliff-strewn face, we switched gears to colder and lower angle terrain on Grays Peak where we found good recycled powder:


    The next day I wanted a bit more exercise, so Vela and I went for a long tour to ski "Atlantic Peak," an officially ranked but unofficially named 13er near the far more famous 14er Quandary Peak. Our goal was a series of short but beautiful couloirs on the east face:


    Skinning:


    Along the way we saw other possibilities:


    And cool spires:


    We skied a great, snaking couloir known as Atlantis:


    Things started to get interesting when mikerecords.com and I went to ski the Dead Elk Couloir, Dragonstail's big brother. There was rock climbing involved:

    (Photo by mikerecords.com)

    After a successful climb, ski of the upper section, and downclimb back through the rocks, we enjoyed the relative ease of the lower couloir.

    (Photo by mikerecords.com)






    (Photo by mikerecords.com)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
    Posts
    6,074
    By now, spring was progressing into summer, and the lower trailheads began to melt out. We were forced to hoof it in wearing trail runners to Mt. Hope:


    But at the top was 1200' of steep, smooth snow in the Hopeful Couloir:



    (Photo by Franz)







    Rather than waste time driving back and forth from Denver, we elected to set up room with a view in the Toyota Travel Lodge:


    The following morning we found ourselves at an old mining camp with towering peaks above:


    So we proceeded to set a bootpack up Fletcher Mountain:

    (Photo by Franz)

    The entrance involved some rock dodging:


    But quickly became sublime:



    (Photo by Franz)

    A great line:


    The following weekend, one line in particular, long on my tick list, beckoned:


    It takes a special year for the complex north face of Mt. Edwards to come into condition. Generally by the time the snowpack stabilizes and the road is passable, all possible lines have melted out. Fortunately, this was a special year.

    After a steep and nervy climb, we got to ski some firm snow above massive exposure:



    (Photo by Franz)

    Once past the exposed stuff, we actually found some good snow. Emphasis on some:

    (Photo by Franz)

    Once at the bottom, we got to watch mikerecords.com and skiracer88_00 drop into a different line on the same face:








    Finally, there was one last great face in Mayflower Gulch to be skied. Fletcher Mountain, from a week earlier, on the left and "Drift Peak" on the right:


    So we climbed:

    (Photo by Franz)

    Though the photos don't show it, this was one of the steepest descents of the year. cooks drops into a lower angled bench at mid-height after the real steep skiing:


    The exit gully was quite enjoyable:




    I already can't wait for this year's mountaineering season.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    On the back of the worm
    Posts
    582
    Fuck yeah

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    247
    this deserves a bump

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Where the chairlifts do double corks
    Posts
    527
    righteous ripping. love findin those old cabins.
    long live the jahrator

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Skinner Box
    Posts
    3,301
    Bada-bumpah.

    Good stuff done there!

    The floggings will continue until morale improves.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,470
    Sweet. I love spring steeps. How are those Yetis?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
    Posts
    6,074
    Quote Originally Posted by AKbruin View Post
    Sweet. I love spring steeps. How are those Yetis?
    They are actually 184 Freerides, carbon layup, med/stiff flex, with the Yeti topsheet. I thought having a Yeti ripping a tram off the cable was a good graphic for a dedicated BC ski. And they kill it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Eagle County
    Posts
    12,225
    nice work Jeff
    ROLL TIDE ROLL

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Couloirfornia
    Posts
    8,719
    Good shit man. I thought they were Yetis too.

    This photo has a nutty perspective. Almost looks like it could be taken from above or below, other than the way the skier is standing.
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Slighty to the right of Attila the Hun
    Posts
    315
    Great pics, thanks! The snow on Mt Hope looks good.

    I got to do a bunch of skiing in the Front, Tenmile & Sawatch last spring. From about mid-May til mid-June, other than getting run off by lightning a couple times, we could do no wrong. It was awesome corn skiing last year!
    "The two best times to fish is when it's rainin' and when it ain't." - Rancid Crabtree

    "never buy anything you can't fuel with a salami sandwich" - XXX-er

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Eese Cose
    Posts
    179
    Nicely done.. And thanks for posting.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •