I’ve been waiting for the upslopes to come for this one. Finally with the storm last weekend it seemed like the way to go. I had some apprehension though wondering whether the 2+ feet of new would be stabilized but I figured I could manage it if need be. There are so many nuances of aspects in chuted faces like that; I figured there had to be an aspect that the sun had settled out. I love a good solo and this 4,100′ vertical line is a great solo. I will call it a rare classic. I was also nervous about how thick the trees were in Parry Creek; I was relieved to find a great line with decent spacing. This is a spring line for sure and without upslope loading probably isn’t gonna be in. Get it while you can.There’s a short, skis on downclimb or if your knees are better than mine you could jump it. I’d wait for another storm to refresh it.
Got up for a fun tour from Berthoud Pass Summit to Winter Park Ski Area. Skied Current Creek Bench, Y Chute, Something in Second Creek, Chimney Chute and Zero Creek Bowl. 5,000′ of descent and about 8 miles covered. All the laps were pow and some were pretty fresh. This is a cool traverse with only about 3,800′ of gain. North Chute on Russel didn’t look very good which was why we went for the Bench instead. Stayed away from the ridge line routes as there was a small skier triggered slide on Postage Stamp.
Fun day and nice to meet you Jarrod. Way to tough it out. Be sure to hit the HD button on the video.
Got up for a morning dose. It’s always a challenge to find some lines that are moderate and offer safe turns in the winter. The East Slopes of “Mt Machebeuf” provide just that; not that we were worried too much about stability this day. We got the little chute up in the alpine and the trees, then had some fun skiing the Y Gully. This was a fun quick outing as I had to get back to Denver to speak at REI that night. No matter how much I prepare I still have some sort of technical snafu when I do a presentation.
Thanks for joining me Jason. We need to ski more than every 2 years. It was fun chasing your skimo speed with all my heavy gear. 3800′ of vert and back to the car by noon.
Got up for a couple laps on Berthoud the other day. Tried to get into the Knuckles but the pack was super hollow in there. Mines 1 skied really well with more than a foot of snow blown into it. Good to meet Luke on the way up and ski a few laps. Thanks for the tour Allison.
After a frustrating day before, I was scratching my head trying to figure out a better tour. I’ve been wanting to get this line for a while and just needed the snowpack we have right now. The northeast aspect protected and trees cached the 6″ we’ve recently gotten. The higher winds just added to the tally and we finally hit the goods.
We headed up Butler Gulch with the intent of skiing the Divide Chutes but they didn’t really look all that great, read windfucked. The snow in the protected north facing trees along the skin track seemed fun though, so we headed for Hourglass. The upper section was wind hammered so we took the low entrance and it was money. Couldn’t believe no one had been back there yet considering that there were like 20 cars in the parking lot. At the bottom we figured out the plan, skins on and head across the valley to the top of Jones Brothers,; though with all the activity over the last few years this name would only apply if they were Siamese twins. The skin was really easy to the base of the south east ridge of 12085′ the skis went on the back and we had some fun moderate snow and so ski bouldering to get to the summit
A very short walk down the ridge had us at the top of the 1,600′ line. There was a cap of slab at the skier’s left of the entrance but by staying on the margins we avoided under cutting it. Green light avy conditions doesn’t mean it’s time to follow bad protocols, if you hit the sweet spot you can still set off a slide. We skied it in sections one at a time yo-yoing our way down. The deepest it got was about a foot and a half. About two thirds of the way down we switched to the east side of the chute to find snow that hadn’t seen sun hit. It was the right call as the snow stayed dry to the bottom the line. one hundred feet of trees and we were at the gate for Butler Gulch.
Thanks for a great tour and the nod goes to Alpine Restaurant and Bar in Georgetown for their amazing meatball sliders. Your food rocks Tina and Aaron.
Met up with Justin at the Blue Moon and we headed to the trailhead separately; I needed to get back to Denver for my son’s playoff game after. We met again at Herman Gulch and got ready. The skin up into Watrous Gulch was easy and we got a nice look at the base of Parnassus’ South Gully; hopefully we’ll get more snow to cover this line a little better. We followed the line of least resistance up the southwest ridge of Woods. Discussing the line as we went we headed for the west summit of Woods.
I dropped in and dug a quick hand pit and was fairly surprised at seeing a cohesive slab sitting on some slick crust, so I backed off that line and headed lower to ski the more mellow slopes in the bowl. Justin dropped in and had some sweet carves down into the exit gully. From here we switched back to skins and headed up the east slopes of Machebeuf. We had intended to ski the North Face of Machebeuf but there wasn’t much in the way of snow so we changed plans and headed for the entrance to the Y Not Gully. The upper portion was a little slabby as well so we skied the margins. Lower down the line my skis started glopping. It was rough going and I wish I’d had Justin’s snowboard. We made it down the choke even though it wasn’t pretty, or at least my skiing wasn’t pretty. Justin made it look easy.
Thanks for the tour man, lets get out again soon.
Calvin’s team had a great season and made it to the playoffs. I’m so proud of you buddy. You put in a lot of hard work and hustled out there for your team. You can’t always win but if you put in the effort eventually the results you seek will come. I love you buddy.
After finding less than stellar conditions up near Moffat Tunnel we headed for the Hot Sulphur Springs and made a plan for the next day. The neck has been in need of some soothing hot water so this was perfect. We motored up to the Colorado River trailhead in RMNP and prepared to get a fairly early start. We’d wake up around 7 and check what the weather was doing; if we liked what we saw we’d head up Red and on to Nimbus. The map and what we were seeing showed steep skinning along the Northeast Ridge. When the alarm went off and we got a look at the mountain in the morning it was obvious that Nimbus wasn’t going to happen, good more time for morning coffee. It was warm that night and despite it being February we were on spring conditions alert. How much moisture was in the snow. We headed up the Red Mountain Trail to the Opposition Creek and went for a more direct ascent. We made some tough calls in there and assessed what was happening in there. Everything was staying put as it should, though this might not be true later in the day, we should probably look for an alternate exit. At the Grand Ditch we adjusted our heading for the Northeast Ridge. No issues with the snowpack here except for a whumph at the creek on the flats. The wind was kicking up there we could tell but it seemed manageable. So up we went aiming for the top of the trees and the border between the East Chute and the Northeast Chute. Near treeline we used tree belays and did some bounce tests at the top of a start zone. No results. At the ridge and the end of the snow we shouldered the skis and headed for the summit. Fun scrambling was had while dealing with high gusts, though the average winds weren’t that bad. Near the summit the gust got more intense but you could tell when they were coming and brace yourself. The light was amazing.
We snapped some pictures and got ready to ski. We had been discussing our descent on the uphill. The east ridge was mellower and had some nicely protected trees. The angle off the summit was lower and didn’t have any start zones so this is what we went for. The skiing in the alpine was subpar until we got about 100 meters below the summit, then it got really good. The trees offered some nice snow of the creamcheesy variety. We hit the margins of a bowl and found more goodness. Then we headed across the East Chute to the steep trees of our Northeast Ridge ascent. There were pillows and soft landings. At the ditch we hooked up with some fun turns on the lower section, though the snow was warm and rotten this far down the mountain. We skied right to the trailhead.
Dane it was fun pushing it with you. I like our communication and our route. The wind made for a tougher day than this peak should have been. The glopping on the skin track was also fun in a masochistic sort of way. It was a great training day in tough conditions. These are the times when making the right choices is really important. The mountain isn’t always an easy place. Being able to deal with adversity is a skill worth ingraining in your bag of tricks. Some may call a day like this foolish, perhaps, but I’d go back again and again given the same conditions and avy stability.
Got up for a tour the other day and I have to say, we need some snow.
This route reminds me a lot of Butler Gulch. It’s got a long approach trail that is mostly skiable. It has mellow terrain that is mostly safe from an avy standpoint, yet it lack the gnar that Butler has off of the divide. With more snow this zone would be really fun. With hurricane force winds it’s less than fun. Let’s all sacrifice3 something to Ullr to bring back the storms.
Honored to have been invited to take part in the ClimbTalk radio show on 1190am KVCU. The radio station is run by CU Boulder. Looking forward to the next time. Thank you Mike Brooks for having me. Also it was great to meet Mike and Bryan from FacingHomelessnessBoulder and Big City Mountaineers respectively. Please support the fine work these gentlemen are doing.
As always use your head out in the backcountry. Just because you want to ski a line doesn’t mean you should. Dig in representative zones to figure out if it’s the right call. Use extra caution when under avalanche slopes. Remember that every line has its time and it will still be there if the conditions this time aren’t optimal. You can never eliminate the risk but with knowledge and practice you can mitigate it; if you’re wrong though it can cost you everything.