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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    5,017

    Cool TR: Bartlett Mountain Couloirs 6.1.05

    TR: Bartlett Mountain 13,550’
    6.1.05
    Duph, Kya, iskibc

    Approach: 3.5 miles, 2,500’ vertical gain

    A couple of weeks ago while climbing Pacific Peak in the tenmile range Kya and I couldn’t help but notice this gem standing high and mighty to the south:



    Like any recon mission, we snapped some pics of it and saved it in the “must ski” files. I am passionate for this sport not because of the actual turns, but the discovery and the adventure that goes hand in hand with touring. Finding new terrain and discovering hidden stashes each time out will never make skiing in the backcountry boring. There are people who have been ski touring Colorado for over 30 years and are still skinning up newly discovered basins, and skiing lines in distinct locations for the first time. It’s a never-ending journey filled with bigger, badder, steeper, narrower, longer lines. Each day out is just a continuation of the previous day’s tour. There’s no end point, just rest stops at the completion of each day. I don’t know how I got on this wild ride, but I don’t want to get off…..


    Ever since Kya and I came back from the Pacific recon tour, I’ve been staring at those lines and wondering. Studied some maps of the locale and drew out an approach for it. Bartlett Mountain stands near the far corner of the Clinton Amphitheatre, a magnificent glacially carved wall of rock spires, dwarfed by its surrounding neighbors of Drift Peak, Clinton Peak, and Mt. Arkansas. The peak itself has actually lost 150’ vertical due to the Climax mining operations. An entire mountain has also been blasted and removed from existence to the south:



    Met up with Kya and Duph on the south side of Clinton reservoir just before dawn. We began our climb up an old mining road along the western broad shoulder of Little Bartlett Mountain. The first part of the hike was interesting as we crossed mushroom patches of snow, mud bogs, and dense willow meadows.

    Eventually we got onto solid snow and we were able to start skinning:



    We skinned along the broad open shoulder for about 1.5 miles before reaching the base of the mountain.

    Our goal coming into view:



    We met up with the road again and began zigzagging our way up the steep west facing side of the mountain:








    Duph and Kya coming up the ridge:



    We reached the spiny summit around 9:00 AM.

    Kya reaching for the summit:



    Our line needed a little more time to soften up, so we climbed around and took in the beautiful views of the surrounding Gore, Sawatch, and Elk ranges.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    5,017

    Smile

    Decisions, decisions, decisions. There were at least 3 potential lines down the north face of Bartlett, and we couldn’t make up our minds. This one in particular grabbed my attention:

    It was hard to make a choice, so I decided to go for them both. The weather was looking promising, and we had some time to waste, so I decided to give it a go. Getting into the couloir was rather interesting:





    Getting my skis on once I got into it was even more interesting.



    One wrong move and my skis would end up 1,500’ below. After several minutes of struggling to get into my bindings, I was finally ready. The upper part of the couloir was rock solid. A little nervous since the rollover came fairly quick.


    I made one jump turn and then pointed them and felt like I got rocketed out of the chute:



    The slope steepened as I exited the chute and I quickly made a hip-slapping hockey stop. What a rush. I climbed back up the face and joined Kya and Duph:



    They were ready to go, so they made the traverse out to the upper part of the chute.

    Duph dropped in first and made some nice sweeping turns down the main face and into the chute:




    There was a nice 2” of fresh snow laying on top, which made for some very smooth turns.

    Kya dropped in next and painted the slope with some sweet swooping turns:







    The rest of the run did not suck:













    We skied back down into the base of the amphitheatre and rested on a grassy slope to take in the surrounding views. New lines popped out in every direction:



    The hike back was mostly through dense willows and wet terrain.

    Where's waldo:



    We were back by 12:30 and took in the rest of the day by the reservoir with some beers and buds.

    Lines for another time:


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    551
    snap! very nice...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,923
    No shit when I say i was driving that way last week and though, "I should let Dave know about how the snow is holding and all coolies in this zone." Here's one for your list, W face Shavano (other side from the Angel).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    109
    Damn! That's in CO? That snow looks really nice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    Posts
    13,235
    So "it AINT over" Sweet
    Nice quality pics
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    "I have posted in here but haven't read it carefully with my trusty PoliAsshat antenna on."-DipshitDanno

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Land of the 14ers (5,623 ft.)
    Posts
    550
    Nice job guys... I want your work schedule.
    Living the good life.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    3,211
    Great TR. That is all.
    The Griz

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Anchoragua
    Posts
    1,098
    Total CO newbie here - where is that area?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning
    Posts
    2,204



    Wowza.

    Git sum (in June, I might add)!!! Awesome.
    Days on snow 06-07: 3
    Days behind a boat summer 2006: 24

    "Coming here and asking whether you need wider skis is like turning up at the Neverland Ranch and asking Michael if he'd like to come to Tampa with the kids" -bad roo.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    13,588
    Nice outing. I need to make it to CO next year.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,923
    Quote Originally Posted by nhtele
    Total CO newbie here - where is that area?
    Off Freemont Pass between Copper Mtn. and Stringtown. It's right on the Divide and is the headwaters to the Arakansas river. Basically, it is right at the beginning of one of the highest mountian ranges in the US, the Presidentials.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bear den
    Posts
    895

    Thumbs up

    "Objects...are closer than they appear"

    That's a good mantra for hiking to the goods.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,042
    good shit! schweeet TR!
    Mom! The meatloaf! FUCK!.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,595

    Ballsy. Did no one sell you the benefits of making some mimsy little jump turns?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    the backcountry
    Posts
    3,500

    Thumbs up sweet lines

    Quote Originally Posted by iskibc
    I am passionate for this sport not because of the actual turns, but the discovery and the adventure that goes hand in hand with touring. Finding new terrain and discovering hidden stashes each time out will never make skiing in the backcountry boring. There are people who have been ski touring Colorado for over 30 years and are still skinning up newly discovered basins, and skiing lines in distinct locations for the first time. It’s a never-ending journey filled with bigger, badder, steeper, narrower, longer lines. Each day out is just a continuation of the previous day’s tour. There’s no end point, just rest stops at the completion of each day. I don’t know how I got on this wild ride, but I don’t want to get off…..
    damn you're good at putting thoughts to words.

    nice pics too!
    so many mountains...so little time

    www.splitboard.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    13,588
    Quote Originally Posted by bcrider
    damn you're good at putting thoughts to words.
    My thoughts exactly. That's why skiing shit snow, side slipping avy runnels, etc, doesn't matter. Because it isn't just about the turns. That's just a small part of it. Skiing is just a way to get down.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    P-tex, CA
    Posts
    8,665

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    People's Republic of Shitshow
    Posts
    7,582


    what is that weird cable in the pic? old mining crap?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    813
    Quote Originally Posted by SkiJunky05
    "Objects...are closer than they appear"

    That's a good mantra for hiking to the goods.
    Damn, I was going to pull that one.
    "I just looked down to see if I was wearing my seatbelt, and I'm sitting at my desk in my room."
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/owencaprell/

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    CAW!
    Posts
    339

    CAW!!!

    CAW!!! CAW!!! CAW!!!
    CAW!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    29
    awesome TR, some of the best pics I have seen all year.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Golden
    Posts
    6,380

    Thumbs up

    very cool.

    turns looked nice and smooth

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    5,017
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles
    No shit when I say i was driving that way last week and though, "I should let Dave know about how the snow is holding and all coolies in this zone." Here's one for your list, W face Shavano (other side from the Angel).
    Hmmm, west face of Shavano, eh? Were you up in that area boatin'? Have never really thought about anything off the west side of that peak. May have to check it out.


    phishy,

    Yeah, it's an old cable they used for mining. Kind of convenient having it at the entrance to the couloir.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    here
    Posts
    245

    iskibc is the man

    Thanks for putting it all together, man.

    It was late on the night before this day when I found out I was going skiing. Talked to iski on the phone and he told me that we were going, where we were going, and that he'd arranged for Kya to pick me up and bring me there. He had the route up and down all thought out and all I had to do was show up, hike, and ski. It's not like I don't enjoy the whole planning process myself, but being spoiled by a friend once in a while can be way too cool. That rocked, and thanks again.

    It was cool meeting you Kya, and thanks again for the ride. And your turns were sweet:



    And I love the Canon A95.

    A really great day. Perfect weather, perfect snow and friends to share it with.

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