After checking out conditions on Pettingell’s North Chute I knew that this tour needed to be done. I wanted the benefit of sleeping up high to give a little assist for the day so I headed up the Guanella Pass Road to sleep. The lot at Guanella Pass provided just what I was looking for. The alarm went off at 5 am and I headed down the road and got some coffee then went to the tunnel. I was hiking by 6am and only had a short way to go before strapping on skins for the ascent of Golden Bear. The northeast line on Golden Bear was a fun warm up. Hagar’s ridge was fun with a little scrambling near and around the summit. The east face of Hagar was money and I made my way over to Boomerang Gully. The skier’s right was better as the skier’ left was still too cold. Then I headed up Snoopy’s belly to the Collar. That was a fun snowclimb as the snow was still nice and firm. The North Collar line was a bit chewed up and could even have been called bumped out. And then the line I really came for. Pettingell’s North Chute has turned me back three times so far. I eased into it and cut some wet sluff. The bed surface was perfect. So glad I waited to get it in good condition. After that I headed for Hassell. About half way up I heard the thunder and looked to the approaching storm a few ridges to my west.
Time to find another gear. I climbed 1000′ faster than ever on my 5th 13er of the day. At the top the change over was under a minute. Down the East Bowl I went and then into Butler as the rain and grauple started. I was at the trees when the lightning and thunder came at the same time. A fun day in the hills.