extending the season in CO

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extending the season in CO

Postby scotthsu » Mon May 18, 2009 8:55 am

if you want ski bang-for-the-buck and don't mind a little driving, check out the Kite Lake trailhead area near the Democrat 14er group in CO. You'll get free camping, skinning from the car, lots of good lines, and many summits to bag. Here's a short TR of one of our ski descents from this past weekend. The snow was perfect and silky, the kind you lust after.

(Driving by, we could see that the Latir group was pretty bare, I'll have to wait until next season to hit that.)
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Postby trucker » Mon May 18, 2009 3:22 pm

Hey Scott-looks like you had a great ski I had been considering that area for this coming 3-day weekend after seeing a few trip reports on 14ers the last couple weeks. Seems like the area was spared from the dreaded red dust layer!

i'm curious to know where you camped (is the road open all the way to the Kite Lake TH/Campground?)-on the map it looks like there is quite a bit of private land in the area...

Kurt
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this week

Postby Kerry » Mon May 18, 2009 5:52 pm

I'd go this week if anyone else is game. Have Tue-Thurs available. Pool up from Albuquerque or elsewhere.
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nice TR

Postby Kerry » Mon May 18, 2009 5:55 pm

Scott, thanks for the report. How did the Collegiates look from the road? Anyone been recently? Any beta on access?
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camping

Postby cmcquade » Mon May 18, 2009 6:14 pm

trucker-

We skied Missouri N face, Democrat's N face "Norwand" and Quandary's Cristo Couloir in a 3 day bash 5/15-5/17. At yes camping is diffecult in the Lincoln Bross area. We camped two nights on the Hoosier pass, giving great access to all peaks in the area. The pass is one of the few areas not on private property. I highly suggest the North face of Democrat a beautiful line:)
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Postby scotthsu » Mon May 18, 2009 6:50 pm

trucker wrote: Seems like the area was spared from the dreaded red dust layer!

i'm curious to know where you camped (is the road open all the way to the Kite Lake TH/Campground?)-on the map it looks like there is quite a bit of private land in the area...


Kurt, definitely no red dust here! The Kite Lake Rd was blocked by a few large snowdrifts around 11600' (about 1/2 or 3/4 mile from the summer TH). There's plenty of pull-out parking near the snowdrifts. We just parked and slept in the car. A few people set up tents either in the pull-outs or on the hillside above the road. I'm sure you can find something. The road may be drivable to the end by next weekend. Also, there are lots of informal camping spots beside the road lower down (closer to Alma).

Kerry wrote:Scott, thanks for the report. How did the Collegiates look from the road? Anyone been recently? Any beta on access?


NE bowl (Silver Creek Bowl) of Yale looked skiable. Princeton is pretty bare (as is Shavano). I don't know, but I bet the south slopes of Harvard are still in. The east side of Columbia is pretty bony. I'd suggest trolling around 14ers.com for the latest conditions and trailhead info.

cmcquade wrote:We skied Missouri N face, Democrat's N face "Norwand" and Quandary's Cristo Couloir in a 3 day bash 5/15-5/17. At yes camping is diffecult in the Lincoln Bross area. We camped two nights on the Hoosier pass, giving great access to all peaks in the area. The pass is one of the few areas not on private property. I highly suggest the North face of Democrat a beautiful line:)


Sounds like you had a great time. I think the Ten Mile and Mosquito ranges are gonna be the go-to place for the next few weekends. No red dust layer, and good high access roads for avoiding the hellish approaches. Of course Independence Pass is supposed to open on Thursday, so that opens up a lot of nice terrain!
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NM well represented last weekend in CO ( Quandary skiers???)

Postby cmcquade » Mon May 18, 2009 7:43 pm

So it looks like scott was on Mt Buckskin, while Mike and I were on Quandary's Cristo Couloir. We had the pleasure of sitting on Quandary's summit for over an hour with two guys from NM, the odd thing is we never introduced eachother. One was from Jemez and the other from Las Alamos...any ideas, i figured then may be members here.....
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Re: NM well represented last weekend in CO ( Quandary skiers

Postby scotthsu » Mon May 18, 2009 7:51 pm

cmcquade wrote:So it looks like scott was on Mt Buckskin, while Mike and I were on Quandary's Cristo Couloir. We had the pleasure of sitting on Quandary's summit for over an hour with two guys from NM, the odd thing is we never introduced eachother. One was from Jemez and the other from Las Alamos...any ideas, i figured then may be members here.....


The two guys were Sam and Darryl Gardner. We skied with them the day before in the Kite Lake basin!
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Lincoln NW aspect?

Postby scotthsu » Tue May 19, 2009 9:51 am

cmcquade wrote:I highly suggest the North face of Democrat a beautiful line:)


Did you guys approach from Montgomery Reservoir and Platte Gulch? How far could you drive, and when were you able to start skinning? Did you look at the NW aspect of Lincoln by chance? Any skiable lines still in?

Thanks!
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Postby Matt » Tue May 19, 2009 12:44 pm

FYI from up here in Colorady - The nice Ootah dust is a significant layer in the snowpack (now at or near the top in most locals where present) as far north and east as Berthoud Pass, miinor in the Indian Peaks, nearly none in RMNP/Never Summers. Snow is cooking off fast this year in the San Juans and Elks. Lot's of dust up on Independence Pass as well.
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Re: Lincoln NW aspect?

Postby cmcquade » Tue May 19, 2009 5:32 pm

scotthsu wrote:
Did you guys approach from Montgomery Reservoir and Platte Gulch? How far could you drive, and when were you able to start skinning? Did you look at the NW aspect of Lincoln by chance? Any skiable lines still in?

Thanks!


Scott-

Ya from Monty, straight forward approach, i can send you my gps tracks if you would like (your email address). We started at the lower TH, 10 miles RT, only the best of 4x4 can make it any further, almost worse then lake como road:)

About 2 miles in you can skin to the base of the norwand. The norwand is about 2200 vert, it took us 2 hrs. Then the skiing, ohh the skiing, well i should say the split boarding! Was the best of the season thus far. The Tunning fork on Torreys may be better we will see after this weekend:)

chuck
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Re: Lincoln NW aspect?

Postby scotthsu » Tue May 19, 2009 6:40 pm

cmcquade wrote:About 2 miles in you can skin to the base of the norwand. The norwand is about 2200 vert, it took us 2 hrs. Then the skiing, ohh the skiing, well i should say the split boarding! Was the best of the season thus far. The Tunning fork on Torreys may be better we will see after this weekend:)


Thanks, Chuck. We got 2000' of breakable crust out of the 3000' total vert on the tuning fork last spring. Sucked ass. I'm sure you'll do better.

If you got any pix or beta on the NW face of Lincoln during your approach, that would be much appreciated.

-Scott
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Postby MarkM » Wed May 20, 2009 9:55 am

We were also in CO over the weekend. Did Mt Guyot (?) near Breck on Sat in swirling clouds and a stiff breeze, but actually pretty good.

Sunday we did the Silver Couloir on Buffalo Mountain near Silverthorn. It was awesome - one of the best spring skis I have done in years. Nearly 3000 continuous vertical feet starting at around 40 degrees and "flattening" to about 30-35.

http://picasaweb.google.com/marklmortie ... MAY172009#

There is still lots of snow up there. I have my eye on Independenace Pass or the Ten Mile range around MT Clinton/Bartlett/Atlantic Peak (got some good beta on those from a local), accessed from the highway beteween leadville and Copper Mtn, the last weekend of May, if anybody is interested.
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Re: Lincoln NW aspect?

Postby cmcquade » Wed May 20, 2009 12:07 pm

scotthsu wrote:
If you got any pix or beta on the NW face of Lincoln during your approach, that would be much appreciated.



Scott,

The NE face of Lincoln was really bare except of sections of couloirs in the middle of the NE face. The top 100-200 yards were bare. So of the couloirs look interesting, but dont hold snow very well.

hope this helps
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Postby Bob » Wed May 20, 2009 1:18 pm

Hi everyone,

My advice is to avoid the San Juan Mtns for the rest of the season. I just got back from Sneffels and the snow was the worst crap I've ever seen. The dust layer was thick on top and the heat and dust combined to make it a real mess.

Skinning up through Yankee Boy Basin - yuck:
Image

The Lavender Couloir:
Image

Looking out at Yankee Boy Basin from the Lavender Col. If anything the dust is sort of understated in that picture:
Image

The chute above Lavender Col wasn't so bad, just kind of junky:
Image

Skiing down was challenging:
Image

Image

Though it had it's moments:
Image

Image

Look at the filthy snow that we marked up above our Yankee Boy Basin camp:
Image

To top it off the snow is melting at a rate of 6 inches a day or so.

In short, I give the Sneffels area a "must mss" for the rest of the year.
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