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  1. #1
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    Colorado: Buffalo Mountain - Silver Couloir Beta

    Been staring at this line for the past three years. Anyone skied it this year? Some good trip reports online and I've hiked Buffalo Mountain in late spring but I'd love some beta if anyone has it...especially about current conditions.

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  2. #2
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    It was a bit thin last week but was doable. You can see my tracks.

    It's pretty much fat now and ready to be hit.

    Do it early. The skin is a little slick, but dunzo.
    Is it radix panax notoginseng? - splat

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    It was a bit thin last week but was doable. You can see my tracks.

    It's pretty much fat now and ready to be hit.

    Do it early. The skin is a little slick, but dunzo.
    I've heard it's steep

  4. #4
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    Anyone want to ski it tomorrow with me?

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    It was a bit thin last week but was doable. You can see my tracks.

    It's pretty much fat now and ready to be hit.

    Do it early. The skin is a little slick, but dunzo.
    Good to know thank you! It sounds like you skinned up the longer approach rather than booting up the cooler right?

    Any avy concern currently?

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcf735 View Post
    Anyone want to ski it tomorrow with me?

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    Or Sunday

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  7. #7
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    I personally wouldnt recommend it.

    Havent been in the area this year but in general avy conditions not good.

    Iím holding back on the reins until we get more snow and a serious cycle through avy terrain.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  8. #8
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    I have skied it a number of times, but it is not something I would hit mid-winter (and honestly don't know if MTM is just trying to fuck with a jong or if he really skied it last week). IMV, it's a spring skiing choice.

    It is a pretty straightforward ski, but it is a fairly long day, with a 45 minute hike out (and I can't imagine booting up the Silver is a worthwhile endeavor, that is not the normal way of doing it). Also, the exit is easy to miss, and seemingly every time I have done it, there has been a party ahead of me that is not yet back to the trailhead when I am done, meaning they missed the exit and went for an extra long hike.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    I personally wouldnt recommend it.

    Havent been in the area this year but in general avy conditions not good.

    Iím holding back on the reins until we get more snow and a serious cycle through avy terrain.


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    Yeah those are wise words. I've been hoping that the big wind event we had a few weeks ago in addition new snow would stabilize things. It looks like in general the front range conditions are lower than they have been... Still doesn't mean they're going to be very good I guess.

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  10. #10
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    It's not a place I were I would feel comfortable trying to outsmart a PWL. The top half is a giant funnel.

    Also, it's more aesthetic from afar than from the inside. Without great snow it's kind of a meh line, as it's not that steep and only a relatively short section feels like a couloir. With 6" of spring pow glued to consolidated snow? Fuck yeah.

    Altimeter and GPS makes the exit much easier.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I have skied it a number of times, but it is not something I would hit mid-winter (and honestly don't know if MTM is just trying to fuck with a jong or if he really skied it last week). IMV, it's a spring skiing choice.

    It is a pretty straightforward ski, but it is a fairly long day, with a 45 minute hike out (and I can't imagine booting up the Silver is a worthwhile endeavor, that is not the normal way of doing it). Also, the exit is easy to miss, and seemingly every time I have done it, there has been a party ahead of me that is not yet back to the trailhead when I am done, meaning they missed the exit and went for an extra long hike.
    Yeah I've read enough about it to know that spring is definitely the ideal time. Probably wise to hold back on this one until later in the year.

    The exit is what I'm a little nervous about cuz I definitely don't want to miss that. I'd love to tag along with someone who skied it a few times.

    Side note, I am newish to the front range and I'm looking to connect with some folks who have experience ski touring in the area. If you know of any good resources whether here on TGR or elsewhere to connect with folks like to tour I am all ears.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcf735 View Post
    Yeah I've read enough about it to know that spring is definitely the ideal time. Probably wise to hold back on this one until later in the year.

    The exit is what I'm a little nervous about cuz I definitely don't want to miss that. I'd love to tag along with someone who skied it a few times.

    Side note, I am newish to the front range and I'm looking to connect with some folks who have experience ski touring in the area. If you know of any good resources whether here on TGR or elsewhere to connect with folks like to tour I am all ears.

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    Yeah, there are 2 important exit points. First, is finding the aqueduct. Second is finding where you turn uphill off the aqueduct. Being uber careful and observant worked for me, but having a gps track to follow is also a modern way of getting it right.

    ISBD is right that it's more aesthetic from afar, but still, there aren't that many 3000 vertical no exit lines out there. And it isn't super steep, probably maxes out at 40 degrees, but it's above 30 the whole way down. I always laugh when I describe skiing it with "the first 1000' were XXXX, the next 1000' were YYYY, and the last 1000' were ZZZZ". Of course it's not the only one, but it is a worthy one. And reasonably easy for the non-ski mountaineering expert (at least in the spring).

    If you're on FB, this group is a bit of a shitshow but also a good way to get beta and find partners: https://www.facebook.com/groups/COBackcountry/
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  13. #13
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    3000' seems pretty generous. Couloir tops at 12500 and the creek below it is 10k, and you don't ski to the creek.

    Seemed pretty straight forward when I skied it a few years ago and there will probably be others up there so you'll have a track to follow on the way out. There's better ski lines in that area IMO, but have fun and post a TR after you get'er done!

    Due to the traffic this thing sees, I would strongly advice not booting up the couloir.
    Last edited by brutah; 01-29-2021 at 12:08 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brutah View Post
    3000' seems pretty generous. Couloir tops at 12500 and the creek below it is 10k, and you don't ski to the creek.

    Seemed pretty straight forward when I skied it a few years ago and there will probably be others up there so you'll have a track to follow on the way out. There's better ski lines in that area IMO, but have fun and post a TR after you get'er done!

    Due to the traffic this thing sees, I would strongly advice not booting up the couloir.
    Thanks! Yeah I don't think I'd choose the Couloir ascent but I've seen at least 1 report where they did that.

    I'm putting a list of objectives to ski in the area...any suggestions for lines I should be seeking out?

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  15. #15
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    would bang buffalo this weekend
    peak one is the other way to go roll the lip between the cliff bands
    the snow is perfect right now for early november

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by brutah View Post
    3000' seems pretty generous. Couloir tops at 12500 and the creek below it is 10k, and you don't ski to the creek.
    Buffalo is 12,777 and you climb to the top to hit the Silver. The trailhead is at 9,774 from what I see, and the climb out sure seems like it is more up than down. So I don't think 3000 is generous. This agrees. :shrug:
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcf735 View Post
    I've been hoping that the big wind event we had a few weeks ago in addition new snow would stabilize things.
    If you haven't taken an avy 1 class, you need to. If you have taken avy 1, you need to take it again and actually pay attention this time. Wind event + new snow = decreased avalanche risk? You seriously need to study or take some classes before heading out into bigger lines like this.

    Also, booting up the couloir in January after just mentioning a wind event and new snow? Why would you actually consider leaving yourself exposed to slide risk for hours when there's a perfectly safe skin track up the other side of the mountain?

    Am I being trolled?
    go upside down.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonMexico View Post

    Am I being trolled?
    I feel like there is so much trolling going on in here I am confused myself

  19. #19
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    yeah, this thread is ridiculous

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Buffalo is 12,777 and you climb to the top to hit the Silver. The trailhead is at 9,774 from what I see, and the climb out sure seems like it is more up than down. So I don't think 3000 is generous. This agrees. :shrug:
    I won't argue with ya as it doesn't really matter that much and its close enough. I think that powder project is total vert though including the hike out after the ski.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonMexico View Post
    If you haven't taken an avy 1 class, you need to. If you have taken avy 1, you need to take it again and actually pay attention this time. Wind event + new snow = decreased avalanche risk? You seriously need to study or take some classes before heading out into bigger lines like this.

    Also, booting up the couloir in January after just mentioning a wind event and new snow? Why would you actually consider leaving yourself exposed to slide risk for hours when there's a perfectly safe skin track up the other side of the mountain?

    Am I being trolled?
    Sorry should have been more clear. The "wind event" we had was pretty crazy...in some places blew off all the snow down to bare ground. I'm sure this made for more troublesome conditions on certain aspects but in many places this actually reduced the avy danger considerably because the pwl was destroyed. That's what I was referring to and why I'm seeking out more info on this line in particular.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcf735 View Post
    Sorry should have been more clear. The "wind event" we had was pretty crazy...in some places blew off all the snow down to bare ground. I'm sure this made for more troublesome conditions on certain aspects but in many places this actually reduced the avy danger considerably because the pwl was destroyed. That's what I was referring to and why I'm seeking out more info on this line in particular.

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    Fair enough, but in a classic couloir like Silver any wind is going to create loading (except for maybe a straight NE wind which we rarely get). Sure you could ski the far edge where maybe the cover is really thin and there's not a persistent slab, but the majority of the line is going to be loaded and you'll at least have to go across/under that at some point.

    This is where the feedback loop with backcountry skiing is so troublesome. Could you ski it? Yes. Would you probably make it out without triggering a slide? Yes. Would you be making a 'good' decision to do it though? Probably not.

    Wait until the snowpack become more consolidated. There's plenty of other fun lines around (even within 30 minutes of Silver) that are way less dangerous mid-winter. Plenty of guidebooks and websites to at least generally point you in their direction.
    go upside down.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonMexico View Post
    Fair enough, but in a classic couloir like Silver any wind is going to create loading (except for maybe a straight NE wind which we rarely get). Sure you could ski the far edge where maybe the cover is really thin and there's not a persistent slab, but the majority of the line is going to be loaded and you'll at least have to go across/under that at some point.

    This is where the feedback loop with backcountry skiing is so troublesome. Could you ski it? Yes. Would you probably make it out without triggering a slide? Yes. Would you be making a 'good' decision to do it though? Probably not.

    Wait until the snowpack become more consolidated. There's plenty of other fun lines around (even within 30 minutes of Silver) that are way less dangerous mid-winter. Plenty of guidebooks and websites to at least generally point you in their direction.
    Good call...will be saving this one for spring....and I appreciate your candid response!

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcf735 View Post
    Good call...will be saving this one for spring....and I appreciate your candid response!

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    I appreciate that you're listening and not getting defensive in the face of criticism. I'll go for a tour with you if you can do a weekday.

  25. #25
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    I was thinking about a recon tomorrow morning I'll be at the trailhead ready to roll at 5:45 be there ready not dicking around stuffing your pack at 545
    just ask to make sure its me
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