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  1. #1
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    Oct 2003
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    Cool TR: Crystal Peak 13,852' , NW Face 4.23.06



    Crystal Peak is a high Colorado Thirteener and one of the 100 highest peaks of Colorado, also known as "Centennial." For those driving from Copper Mountain towards Leadville, it's the high prominent peak in the distance along highway 91. Crystal holds several great lines from the summit, which all give you a nice 3,000'+ run back down to the highway.

    Met up with mbsc in Frisco around 5AM and headed up HWY 91 to the trailhead. We dropped on vehicle off at the exit of the drainage we would be skiing out of, and then drove up to the Mayflower Gulch trailhead a few miles up the road. We were on our way shortly after 6AM to a calm and cool morning. There had been a nice freeze the night before, so the snow was set up nicely and perfect for skinning. Mayflower gulch is a beautiful basin filled with great lines (Drift Peak, Drift ridge, etc.) and endless opportunities.



    We made pretty good time heading up the drainage between Pacific and Atlantic peaks. The wet and rotten snow as of late had been frozen solid for the time being. As we skinned above tree line the morning light began to creep up and over the Tenmile Range, casting some cool shadows along the surrounding peaks and ridges. We traversed along the base of Pacific Peak to the low end of the ridge between Crystal and Pacific.

    mbsc with Pacific Peak and the north couloir in the background:




    At this point we had to take off the skins and begin to boot pack the rest of the way towards the summit.

    mbsc:




    lines, lines, and more lines:




    She knows how to climb:






    With excellent conditions for boot packing and a solid base underfoot, we made the summit shortly after 9AM.

    Approaching the summit:







    The sun had just begun to hit the NW face, so we had plenty of time to spare before our descent. The weather was perfect and we were in no rush to go anywhere, so we relaxed and hung out on the summit for a good hour before heading down. Days like these are what make spring skiing fun.


    Other goals in the distance:




    The top of the face has a decent rollover before draining into several couloirs. I had scoped out all of the potential lines last week from peak 10. There were a few lines that didn't go all the way, so I walked along the ridgeline to get a good angle on our intended line. There was a 10 foot choke about 3/4 of the way down, but it went all the way.

    mbsc dropped in first and made some nice turns down the upper face to the rollover. There was a good 6" of recycled powder on the upper face, which made for some fun turns.


    mbsc dropping in:














    I dropped in next and after a few turns pre-released out of my dynafits and made the tumble down the couloir. After going over the handlebars once, I lost the second ski and started sliding down the snow. Luckily, I quickly made a self-arrest and watched as my ski torpedoed into the side of the couloir about 50' down the slope. My other ski was stuck in the snow above. I gathered my skis and poles and booted back up the couloir to get some sort of redemption. This time around I made some gingerly turns down to mbsc.










    mbsc:





    The rest of the couloir was rock-hard verglas, making things rather interesting.

    Mmmmm, boilerplate:






    The sun had not softened up the couloir enough to corn things up, so the skiing was far from fun. We carefully made our way through the choke and found much better snow at the top of the apron all the way down to the valley below.

    mbsc on the exit:




    The line:




    We cruised through the valley and made our way down the drainage to the road. We were back at the truck and cracking open the first round of beers shortly after 1PM. We wasted away the rest of the day soaking up some sun and lounging at the trailhead. Another great day spent in the mountains with a great friend.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2003
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    This one!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    1,046
    YESSSS!!

    and that north coulie on Pacific peak looks yummy..
    Mom! The meatloaf! FUCK!.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Denver
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    Very Nice. I was going to ski this route Saturday but ended up doing Princeton instead. Looks good. Did you by any chance see what the west face of peak 10 looked like. I think it would be a fun combination.

    BTW: GOOD LUCK ON PYRAMID THIS WEEK, BE SAFE AND SLAY THAT SHIT FOR ALL THE MAGS

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    3,997
    Nice redemption! Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2003
    Location
    Central Valley
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    2,910

    Thumbs up

    Yet another solid performance.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2006
    Location
    CO
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    Sweet pics!

    BTW, nice boots.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Where the Butte is Crested
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    It was a fun day of skiing, despite the boilerplate in the midsection. Thankfully in the apron things got soft again to end on an excellent note

    Kudos to iskibc, who, after watching his ski torpedo down the slope quite a ways (ski pole too), walked down to get it, then walked all the way back up to nearly the top of the coolie to ski it again! He was a bit worried his ski might pre-release again and made "gingerly" turns.... But, I gotta tell ya, THIS ain't no GINGERLY turn Looks good.
    -
    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

  9. #9
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    Oct 2003
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    gone north, but still on the west side
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    Looks like a damn fine day - spring skiing at its best, especially the part where you got to lounge the afternoon away

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Hmmm so are you chuckin the dynafits or what?

    nice job you two.
    "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

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie
    Looks like a damn fine day - spring skiing at its best, especially the part where you got to lounge the afternoon away
    Next time we'll remember to bring a grill so we aren't drinking so much beer on an empty stomach
    -
    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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerskierchick
    Next time we'll remember to bring a grill so we aren't drinking so much beer on an empty stomach

    Pfffft, lightweight!

    She may be a good skier, but her drinking skills need some work.



    Yeah, the grill needs to be taken out of storage. It's that time of year.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by iskibc
    Pfffft, lightweight!

    She may be a good skier, but her drinking skills need some work.
    Oh whatever! Say's the guy who asked "What's the lighest beer you have?" while we were at Mountain Sun on Thursday!
    Last edited by mtnbikerskierchick; 04-24-2006 at 06:12 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

  14. #14
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    Sep 2001
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    Hoo

    HAAAAAAAAAA
    Last edited by lemon boy; 04-24-2006 at 05:35 PM.
    "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

  15. #15
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    Dec 2003
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    funland
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    it looks like insanity got done yesterday!

  16. #16
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    Oct 2003
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    The Ranch
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    Great pictures,

    mtbikergirl, do you have a stunt double or something?

    iskibc, what happened on that pre-release? You dropping the dynafits, if so the price of those bindings are going to be dropping significantly.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Powpow New Guinea
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    Nice line!

    I was up on Atlantic the day before, found some very mixed conditions, 1' windslab on inpenetrable crust....had to turn back because the crampons were at home. Meadow skipping through low angled south facing corn shots saved the day, though.

    wish I could have bagged a nice line like you did!
    Last edited by homerjay; 04-24-2006 at 02:50 PM.

  18. #18
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ireallyliketoski

    iskibc, what happened on that pre-release? You dropping the dynafits, if so the price of those bindings are going to be dropping significantly.
    Not sure what happened on the release. I was going into a turn and felt my boot twist out of the rear part of the binding. I wasn't cranking into a turn all that hard either. Some say that if you put the toe lever in "tour" mode, that your DIN increases and the chances of coming out decrease significantly. I didn't do that, as I felt it wasn't necessary. At the top I made sure they were locked in and clean. I have a hard time dealing with gear failure, especially in situations where things could get spicey. Another pre-release was in the back of my mind the rest of the day.

    So, I'm going to give these bindings a little more time on mellower terrain and see if this happens again before I get rid of them.

  19. #19
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by iskibc
    Not sure what happened on the release. I was going into a turn and felt my boot twist out of the rear part of the binding. I wasn't cranking into a turn all that hard either. Some say that if you put the toe lever in "tour" mode, that your DIN increases and the chances of coming out decrease significantly. I didn't do that, as I felt it wasn't necessary. At the top I made sure they were locked in and clean. I have a hard time dealing with gear failure, especially in situations where things could get spicey. Another pre-release was in the back of my mind the rest of the day.

    So, I'm going to give these bindings a little more time on mellower terrain and see if this happens again before I get rid of them.
    Do you have the comforts or the TLT, I've heard that the TLT is a little more prone to prereleasing than the comfort. I've heard that about the 'tour' mode but haven't put mine in that mode for descent yet. I haven't had any issues with pre-releasing in 'descent' mode, I've had mine release, but they were when they should of during some pretty big crashes. I'm having more of an issue getting used to the shaped carbon surfs, compared with the straight old x-mountains. Did you check the spacing between the boot and the heel binding before the descent, did they both look the same? There is no weight saving worth a lack of confidence in your gear, especially with the lines you are doing.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    golden co
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    huh, glad you're ok. That's definitely dodgy, especially considering the terrain you ski in most of the time. Careful with that, especially on Pyramid. I climbed it last summer, super fun. I can imagine skiing it would be a bit more hairball.

    Thanks for the pics and tr. I'm sitting in denver right now with my stupid car in the shop again and nothing to do at home, and it's raining, and my shoulder is stuck to my ear again. Your TR just made me a bit less mopey.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ireallyliketoski

    mtbikergirl, do you have a stunt double or something?

    .
    Stunt double? Why do you say that?

    My weekend was jam-packed! Mt Princeton on Sat with KillingCokes, and Crystal on Sun with iskibc. Translates to "hardly any sleep for mtnbikerskierchick so she is very tired at work today"
    -
    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

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ireallyliketoski
    Do you have the comforts or the TLT, I've heard that the TLT is a little more prone to prereleasing than the comfort. I've heard that about the 'tour' mode but haven't put mine in that mode for descent yet. I haven't had any issues with pre-releasing in 'descent' mode, I've had mine release, but they were when they should of during some pretty big crashes. I'm having more of an issue getting used to the shaped carbon surfs, compared with the straight old x-mountains. Did you check the spacing between the boot and the heel binding before the descent, did they both look the same? There is no weight saving worth a lack of confidence in your gear, especially with the lines you are doing.

    I have the comforts. The heel spacing is right where it should be as well. I think it's at 4mm, or whatever the recommended spacing is for those bindings. Yeah, I would much rather carry up heavy gear and have the confidence in it, then deal with issues like this. It could have been much worse. I got kind of lucky.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Way to get after the insanity you guys!

    Sometimes having gear you can depend on is more important than making the hike easier.
    Watch the seventh episode of
    The Blurred Chronicles

    The Blurred Chronicles on facebook
    'Karma' is an Eastern religious concept which views all human dramas as the will of God as opposed to present - and past - life actions.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlurredElevens
    Way to get after the insanity you guys!

    Sometimes having gear you can depend on is more important than making the hike easier.
    Besides, he's too damn fast with those Dynafits anyway! Is there some kind of ski mountaineering race he can enter?
    -
    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

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by iskibc
    Not sure what happened on the release....
    So, I'm going to give these bindings a little more time on mellower terrain and see if this happens again before I get rid of them.
    My guess is they weren't quite in well enough.

    Did you remember to stomp on them at the top to test that they were fully in?

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