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

    Cool TR: Dragons Tail Couloir, RMNP 4.17.06



    RMNP holds some really amazing lines that typically don't come into ski condition until late spring. For the past month we've been eyeing and wanting to get up on the Dragon's Tail couloir off the southern flank of Flattop Mountain (12,324'). On our first attempt we had to back down off the route after stability and weather took a turn for the worse. Access can't get much easier for this route, as it's only a 2 mile skin from the Bear Lake parking lot and another 1,600' vertical up the couloir. Sunday looked to be a good day to get back on this one as conditions were setting up to be prime for a nice spring descent. A quick storm system blew through during the day on Saturday dropping around 8" of dense snow up in the park. Temperatures dipped down well below freezing the day before, which helped lock up the snowpack and provided a nice and stable base. The forecast was calling for some warming and clearing early Sunday morning, so we made the plan to head out early and get after it.

    Met up with mtnbikerskierchick in Lyons and we headed up to Bear Lake. We were on the trail and well on our way to the couloir by 7:30AM. We reached Emerald Lake to high winds and some lingering clouds. The tail end of the storm was just blowing out, so we weren't too concerned.

    mbsc battling the wind on the lower apron:




    The base of the couloir was setup really nice as we skinned up the first section. The new snow had bonded really well to the frozen layer underneath. The snow was nice and dense making for an easy bootpack further up the couloir.

    Up, up, up:





    About halfway up the couloir the winds died and the sky cleared, making for a nice climb up the 5th class step near the end of the route. We used a rope to get up and over the step.

    mbsc past the step:




    Nearing the top:




    Checking out the views up top:



    The ski down was fun. Smooth and creamy late season pow made for some easy turns down the couloir.

    Upper section:




    Approaching the rock step:





    In the choke:







    Things beginning to open up a bit:








    mbsc exiting the choke:











    Enjoying the late season pow:
















    Not bad for a half day out in the mountains. I was back home and pulling weeds in the backyard by 1:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Anchoragua
    Posts
    1,099
    killin' it as usual, Dave. Nice work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    23,684
    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    retired
    Posts
    587

    Thumbs up

    Sweet!

    Way to get after it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Alco-Hall of Fame
    Posts
    3,098
    Way to scratch that itch.
    "It is not the result that counts! It is not the result but the spirit! Not what - but how. Not what has been attained - but at what price.
    - A. Solzhenitsyn

  6. #6
    Squatch Guest
    i find it really heartening how close such sweet terrain there is.

    Thanks for making my day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Where the Butte is Crested
    Posts
    3,339
    Awh yeah! It was a fantastic day! Honestly, a day of touring doesn't get much better than that day!

    Do I look Easter-festive enough? Thought I'd break out the Easter colors and look like and Easter bunny to celebrate the day
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Alco-Hall of Fame
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    3,098
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerskierchick
    a Playboy bunny to celebrate the day
    too many clothes. Try again though.
    "It is not the result that counts! It is not the result but the spirit! Not what - but how. Not what has been attained - but at what price.
    - A. Solzhenitsyn

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,424
    great line guys, I cant wait until the snowpack turns to corn, so I can get the balls to do some of this stuff. Excellent

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Where the Butte is Crested
    Posts
    3,339
    Quote Originally Posted by lemon boy
    too many clothes. Try again though.
    Nice try there Lemon boy Much to the dismay of the board, I don't really enjoy skiing naked. But, REALLY, you should be thankful!
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,445
    Great shots

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
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    12,917
    How long did it take for the bootpack up to the top?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Where the Butte is Crested
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    3,339
    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Christmas
    How long did it take for the bootpack up to the top?
    Including the skin, the trip took us less than 3 hours to the top.... maybe slightly over 2 hours of bootpacking.
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in the middle of a Norman Rockwell painting
    Posts
    1,072
    as always, well done, ladies and gents...

  15. #15
    WWCD's Avatar
    WWCD is offline Non Threating Male Friend
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cameron Indoor Stadium
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    1,259
    I'm having a hard time getting behind this otherwise sweet TR without the obligatory point into the distance.
    Quote Originally Posted by iskibc



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Slummit County, CO
    Posts
    892
    sweet stuff.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    208 State
    Posts
    1,647
    once again, what can I say, nice work. Always looking forward to reading your TR's. Sounds like there's going to be plenty of skiing up high for a while yet in your area too.

    where is the Dragon's Tail Couloir in relation to the Ouzel/Bluebird? Lake area in RMNP?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Fort Front Range
    Posts
    1,368
    Nice work. How long do you think that line is gonna stay prime for?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    11,704
    Another asthetic couloir. Nice pics!

    Dynafit convert.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    5,017
    Quote Originally Posted by berko
    Nice work. How long do you think that line is gonna stay prime for?
    There's quite a bit of snow in there, but that line does get a ton of sun (south facing). I would say that it will be prime for at least 2-3 more weeks. That upper section where the rock step is will grow larger and become more difficult to negotiate.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Fallbroke, SD-CA
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    1,655
    Wierd...looks like the lady's sporting a goatie in this pic:


    mbsc, Love all the pink parts.

    peace,
    D.
    "There's a truth that sanity denies...." --Sprung Monkey

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    7,592

    Thumbs up

    yeah! good shit!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Where the Butte is Crested
    Posts
    3,339
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhi
    Wierd...looks like the lady's sporting a goatie in this pic:
    What, the goatie doesn't match my ski-bunny outfit??????
    Last edited by mtnbikerskierchick; 04-17-2006 at 03:14 PM.
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Gaia
    Posts
    1,047
    NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    The Ranch
    Posts
    3,537
    Beautiful pictures, very nice as always.

    Which one is the left fork and which one is the right fork?
    Last edited by Ireallyliketoski; 04-17-2006 at 03:38 PM.

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