Caribou Lake Bowl and North Arapaho North Star Couloir 6/22-23/2016

After I finished up on Rollins Pass I headed to Ned for some beer and then on to the Fourth of July Road Trailhead. Camping dinner are always good when they have beef, beer and bacon. The rain came though and as usual we spent some time in the tent waiting out the storm. In the am we headed up the trail and left the Caribou Pass Trail where it met the Arapaho Pass Trail. We made our way up Neva’s Dorothy ridge to the top of the first hump. Then we headed down to the entrance of our line.

Getting in over the broken cornice was weird but Alli stepped up and hucked it. Not to be outdone I dropped it too. It’s weird jumping stuff with an overnight pack. The 1000′ line was fun and moderately steep. It ended at the lake and is the longest lineĀ  of the Caribou Lake Bowl, the bowl extends from Arapaho Pass Bowl to Satanta. The view to the north from the lake is inspiring with Hopi, Apache, Navajo and the Arapahos. We made our way to the base of North Star to get in good p osition for the next day. As soon as we got there the rain returned, but not before we had everything ready for the night. 14 hours later we left the tent to hazy skies. We skied from the campsite over to the base of the line and switched to crampons and axes. The couloir was moderate and reminded me a lot of James’ West Couloir though not as long; the top had melted out substantially. At the top of the snow I headed up for the summit.

Back at the snow we switched over quickly to get low as the rain had come back. The snow was money and we enjoyed carveable steeps. Back at camp the sun came out and we broke down the tent. We headed for the shallow pass at the base of South Arapaho. about 500 vert below the pass I looked back at the sky and said “Oh Jeez! Time to find another gear!” There were loud crashes of thunder as we crested the pass. The change over was one of the fastest I’d ever made. Time to ski. At the bottom of the snow it started to rain again and we practically ran to the trees and the trail. It was fun getting the heart rate up but lightning just plain scares me.

 

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