May 17 2012
Well here we go again. I just can’t seem to stay out of the mountains. I headed up to Brainard Lake to see what the road closure was all about as I wanted to try and ski Airplane Gully on Navajo. The road was closed so I had to make other plans on the fly. I decided that the San Juans would be the way to go, so on the road again it was. I got to the Silver Creek Trailhead at about midnite and had a very cold night of fitful sleep. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately and haven’t been sleeping very well. I hit the trail at 7:40 and made very good time up the hill. Making the decision on the fly I didn’t bring a map and missed the turn to go get Sunshine first. I headed up the regular trail and did Redcould first and then hiked over to Sunshine for my 1st ski of the day. The skiing was awesome. The corn was a bit immature but the line was really nice. I skied off the summit down the ridge a little way then had super turns into the basin northeast of the summit. I then climbed back to the Sunshine/Redcloud connector ridge and plodded my way back up Redcloud. I was able to reach the summit with my ski pole from the snow and dropped in. After a little rock skiing I made my way down the northeast bowl. At the bottom I saw 2 elk. After a short climb back to the saddle I skied the remaining snow down toward the trailhead. I logged about 6000′ of vertical for the day. It was really fun. Going solo isn’t for everyone but the focus you can achieve alone in the wild is worth it to me every time.
Enjoy the pics.
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