Jun 16 2014

Square Top Mountain 13,794′ North Slopes and Argentine Peak 13,738′ Southeast Slopes – Cool Clouds

Some days you wake up and it just doesn’t seem like it’s gonna happen. Today was one of these days. I opened my eyes and looked up at Otter Mtn. It was shrouded in clouds. Surprisingly I had service at my camp site though not the greatest, but I could text. So I fired off some texts. Ooops I sent them to Allison, not Gary. “Sorry Honey, didn’t mean to wake you” Hmm let’s try and figure out if this is an inversion or not. Never know till you go. Gary showed up with reports of clear skies in Summit. We could see up high so it was time to go. Need some coffee first though.

We geared up and headed up the trail. At tree line we headed for the ridge among swirling clouds. It seemed like we were along the dividing line which was the Continental Divide. The clouds to the east of the Divide were coming from the southeast. The winds were coming out of the northwest and we were right along that break. Let’s just go and see what happens. At the summit of Square Top we had a snack and got ready. The line I wanted had melted out but there are some choices up there. We got a sweet corn filled gully for about 1500′ of vert.

With the weather holding we headed up the South Ridge of Argentine. It was a little late to get the North Face but there was a ton of vert on the Southeast slopes that hadn’t been cooking for quite as long. After snapping some pics we headed down the ridge and found a cool cornice feature. After snapping some pics we enjoyed the vert and pieced together as much skiing as we could for the way out.

Lucky to live in Colorado :) Thanks Gary

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Jun 16 2014

Gray Wolf Mountain 13,602′ East Couloir – Mount Spalding Windy City 13,842′ 6/11/2014 Pushing The Weather

It’s getting really close to being done for what I need to accomplish this spring. With a beautiful sunrise me and Jerome headed up to Summit Lake. We meet up with Kevin and geared up. The plan is to ascend the East Ridge of Spalding then cross over to Gray Wolf. Ski the East Couloir and reascend to the top of the Black Cliffs to get some pics of the Chicago Lakes trail. Then we’d head to the top of Windy City and have some more corn. From there it was a hike up to Chicago Lake trail and an easy return to the overlook. Pretty much everything went as planned except the weather came in while we were nearing the bottom of Windy City. From what I heard there was electricity in the cell that came over Mt Evans but we didn’t experience any. It did make us hike faster on the up.

Thanks for a great day guys always a pleasure getting out in the hills with you.

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Jun 06 2014

“Epaulie” 13,530′ Beartrack Couloir – 6/6/2014 – A Sweet Solo

With the snowpack rapidly changing into a summer pack I decided to maximize the time I have left before it’s all gone. I saw this line from Rosalie a while back and wanted to tag it before it was gone. With my kids having a half day for their last day of school I figured I had a window to get it done in the morning. I camped up on Mt Evans Rd and got an early start of 6:40. I mad good time over Epaulet and on to “Epaulie”. I walked down a little ways to the snow and strapped them on. It was no problem finding the line. I got to the edge and was a little surprised at how steep the entry was. The clouds that kept me up had dumped about 3-4″ of grauple onto the line. I cut the slope and got the new to run. The snow below the new was really nice. I skied through the steep stuff and it got pretty heavy.

After a quick switch I booted back up the couloir and back to the truck. I made it to the school at 11:45. Enough time to post a pic on Facebook and chat with some of the parents.

My head needed a solo. Enjoy the pics

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Jun 06 2014

Grizzly Peak 13,427′ North Face – “Cupid” 13,117 Dave’s Wave – 6/5/2014 A Freeze, Finally :)

So the alarm goes off at 4am again. Time to make the doughnuts. I hope it’s not deep heavy today. I hope it freezes. I hope I hope I hope. Well up the highway I went to the top A-Basin lot. Time to meet Frank, Jake and Gary for some more fun in the hills. It’s getting closer to being done. At the trailhead we were stunned to be cold. It was actually below freezing. We geared up and headed up CDOT gully. We made good time to the saddle below the North Ridge and had fun bouldering up the ridge. At the summit we snacked and changed over, e also walked over to the Hourglass and tried to figure out if it was still in. One drawback of not coming from below. We knew though that the summit line would have had the best chance to thaw. The freeze was pretty good the night before.

Frank hit it first and yelped that it was money. We yo yo’d for pics and had a blast on sweet corn that was just the right depth for arcing turns. At the apron we headed down some more and were stoked to see how nicely the snow had compacted. We switched to skins and headed up the back side of “Cupid”. This face had been seeing more sun but was still well compacted so skinning almost all the way to the summit was pretty reasonable. We booted the top steep section though.

From the summit we walked a short ways down to Dave’s Wave. I haven’t skied this line since like 1995. So fun to be back. We set up for some shots and milked the corn.

From there we went to White Cliff. Haven’t done much climbing since my accident up in The Park back in 1998. It was fun but a blister that developed a few days ago was giving me some serious pain in the climbing shoes. Then it was time to head off to camp for the next day. What a fun day it was. Thanks Gary, Frank and Jake for a ton of fun. Enjoy the pics.

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May 30 2014

Mount Evans 14,265′ Summit Bowl – Steep Chute Ascent – Corn Descent – 5/29/2014

With the end of the clear weather approaching, me and Gary headed up the Mt Evans Road to squeeze in another line or two. Driving up the road at sunrise was sweet and we geared up for the climb up Evans at the Summit Lake lot. We skinned up to the basin below the North Face and choose to ascend the steep couloir that leads almost directly to the summit. We were thinking about skiing this but the conditions just didn’t merit it. 2″ ice crust on about 8″ of grauple. Very minimal transition on this aspect kept us away. So we opted for the corn run down the bowl proper. The snow was great and I think we made the right decision.

Afterward we started to head over towards Spalding to go for Windy City but with the temps rising fast we decided not to go for it. It was a good few days. The body is tired and I’m looking forward to getting in some time with my kids. Thanks for a sweet tour Gary. Enjoy the pics.

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May 30 2014

Bald Mountain 13,684′ – 5/28/2014 – North Chute and Baker’s Tank Gully – Corntacular

After a sweet tour the day before on Red Cone and Handcart I headed up to the campsite on Zuma Road and got some rest. I got a text that there was a big rock slide on Highway 6 between Keystone and A-Basin. Well I guess I needed to figure out another plan. I was thinking that the North Face of Grizzly and Dave’s Wave was what I was going to do but with no access I needed something else. So I called Scott and we changed the plan to Baldy over in Breckenridge. We met in the morning and headed to Breck. The Boreas Pass Road is still closed so we had a long walk to Bakers Tank and the skinned up through the trees to the South Ridge. From there we hugged a gully and booted up nice snow and hopped talus.

At the summit we sized up the North Chute. I dropped in and skied it non stop. At the bottom I set up for pictures. Scott got it non stop as well. The timing on the line was perfect and the corn was super sweet. We put the skins back on and headed up to a saddle. The consecutive days were starting to catch up with me at this point and our final vert of 5500′ for the day was tough. But it was so worth it. We positioned ourselves at the top of the snow leading into the Baker’s Tank Gully and played around on some cool rock formations. Scott had some fun cleaning a fun little problem. Then we skied the gully to about 100′ from the road. It was a fun line and far more interesting than we were expecting. The snow was also really good on this west-southwest facing line. The walk back to the car wasn’t too bad.

Thanks for the tour Scott. Looking forward to more. Enjoy the pics. Scott’s pics can be seen here http://edlin.us/gallery3/index.php/Scott/Outdoors/2014/Bald-Mountain—May-29-2014

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May 30 2014

Handcart Peak 12,518′ East Chute – Red Cone 12,801′ South Gully – Steeps and Corn 5/27/2014

After a sweet ski of Cooper we headed back to the city. Allison need to see the kittens and chill the next day. I woke up at 4am and headed up 285 to meet Mike and Frank at the Webster Pass trailhead. At 6ish we met and loaded in the 4Runner. We were able to shave about .75 of a mile off the approach. Not wanting to push it too far I pulled over before the snow got too crazy. On the drive up we saw some beautiful bull elk with velvet antlers. We geared up and headed up the Webster Pass Road. It was pretty cool heading under the Handcart Ridge Chutes along the way. These 2000′ lines went large this year. We got up into the zone and had a good look at Hardcart. The face had slid pretty big but our line looked pretty decent. This isn’t the most aesthetic line in the world but it is steep and it is a named peak. This would also keep us entertained while the South Gully of Red Cone was ripening.

We geared up and I made my way to the edge. The entrance was about 50 degrees and it had been seeing some sun. I was a bit nervous dropping in as I was over some cliffs. Everything stayed put and I made some nice steep turns down to where I wanted to shoot from. Frank and Mike took their turns and then shot me on the exit of the choke. We then skied the apron and crossed the debris field. We squeezed out another few hundred vert and switched back to skins for the ascent up Red Cone’s West Flank.

From the summit of Red Cone we skied down into the South Gully. Damn fine corn all the way down to the road. Red Cone made the day in my opinion. Such a beautiful peak and with the super blue sky the red rock created a technicolor dream feeling.

Great getting out with you guys and good to finally ski Mike. Looking forward to the next time. Enjoy the pics

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May 30 2014

Cooper Mountain 12,782′ South Gully – Grizzly Peak CDOT Gully Partial – 5/26/2014

So after some bad weather over the weekend we got back after it. We woke up at 4:30 and headed up the CDOT Gully on Grizzly Peak’s Northwest Slopes. The going was pretty easy and the fresh snow was nice but the higher we got the more concerned I was getting. Our goal for the day was to ski Grizzly’s North Face and then ski Dave’s Wave. I dug around a bit and found a foot of new snow lying on top of 2 feet of slushy wet corn, about the consistency of an Italian ice. I did not like the idea of skiing that all heated by the sun, which is what we would have found over on the North Face which has a tilt a little to the northeast. So we decided to bail after climbing up about 1700′ The descent was most excellent.

At the truck we ran into another group that was heading to ski SFB. I mentioned that I didn’t think that was such a good idea due to the un frozen mess below the new snow. We mentioned that we were going to head over to Cooper and ski the South Gully. They were game, so Max, Scott and Steve joined us.

We went to the Peru Creek trailhead and away we went. It was amazing how much the road had melted out in just a week. We headed up the Southwest Ridge and enjoyed the bouldery nature of the route. From there we made our way to the summit and switched over to ski mode. I was amazed to see just how filled in everything was.

The ski of the South Gully was straightforward though a little on the soft side. Everything stayed put as far as snow and it was good to meet new people in the hills.

Thanks for a great day guys. Well done Allison getting a combined vertical of 4700′ :) Enjoy the pics.

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May 29 2014

Guest Review – Ski Logik Yeti 183 – By Dave Bourassa

Published by under Gear,Reviews

Ski Logik Yeti Review

We have a guest writer for today’s review. Our good friend Dave Bourassa has been out this spring on the Ski Logik Yeti and he thought he’d share his impressions on the ski. Hope you enjoy his thoughts and thanks for sharing Dave and keep the reviews coming.

Specs:

183 cm.

138-105-124

19 meter turn radius

3280 grams

Backcountry/ski mountaineering focused ski

Skier:

Dave Bourassa

37 years old

Colorado

185 lbs.

6’1”

85% backcountry, 15% lift served

Aggressive skier who demands a lot out of gear. Long tours, steep lines, peak descents.

 

Highlights:

  • Vektor 8 carbon fiber technology. In simple terms, light, torsional rigidity, durable, and responsive.
  • Black Magik bases – Plain and simple, the best base material I’ve ever seen in a ski. Made out of some of the hardest sintered base material, with graphite added for a fast glide.
  • Wood veneer inlay – beauty. Makes you want to mount them on your wall, as they are truly a piece of art.
  • Reinforced aluminum notched tail for frustrating-free skin attachment.
  • Traditional – Over the years, ski manufacturers have veered from traditional shapes and designs that have been proven. It’s nice to see Ski Logik has brought some traditional features back such as flat tails, camber, and modest side cut. When it comes to spring skiing, steeps, technical terrain, and long days in the mountains, the mix of traditional and new-age features in this ski are very much appreciated.
  • Sidewalls – Underfoot the sidewalls have a traditional vertical build, whereas, the tips and tails are made of a cap construction that allow some weight savings. This allows for great turn initiation as well as some lower profile weight reduction. Very nice design.

 

Overview:

  • These skis are my #1 “go-to” ski for backcountry days. They excel in 90% of the conditions that are thrown at them. At first I was worried my larger frame would overpower the skis. I was concerned on whether or not they would perform well enough in your typical mixed bagged spring conditions. All of those concerns and worries were expelled within the first few days on these skis. They handle deep powder very well and absolutely shine in spring corn conditions. Turn initiation is amazing, so if you are looking for a tight, technical, steep couloir tool, these should be at the top of your list. They aren’t extraordinarily soft for a lightweight backcountry ski. I would rate them middle of the road when it comes to flex and overall stiffness. They can charge cut-up snow and challenging conditions without tossing you off balance.
  • The durability of the Yeti is top notch. I’m very demanding on all of my ski gear, just ask my friends. I put these skis through the ringer from chocolate chips at high speed to dry summit descents off of granite shark teeth to the occasional dirt skip from snow patch to snow patch. I’m very impressed with the bases and edges on these skis. They hold up very well and after 30+ days on them they look good as new. The clear coat finish on the top sheets does seem to chip relatively easily, thus exposing the wood inlay, but haven’t noticed any significant damage just yet.   This generally occurs from smacking the skis together on lift rides, snowmobile rides, and trying to knock snow off the top sheets while skinning.
  • The length of these skis is true to their size. It’s been many years since I last owned a pair of skis shorter than a 188. They don’t feel like a short ski at all. I was worried about the length of this ski before mounting them up, but haven’t had any issues with the length and my larger framed body.
  • The dimensions of this ski are just about right. They are just wide enough underfoot to handle deep powder, yet, super agile in spring conditions and hard pack. They aren’t overly “turny”. They allow the operator to switch from long GS turns to steep and smooth quick turns in an instant.

 

Pros:

  1. Durable construction and design – Go ahead, put them through the ringer and see for yourself. They are constructed to withstand the high demands of ski mountaineers and backcountry skiers. A ski that will last.
  2. Lightweight – 3280 grams. Don’t be fooled by the weight. They perform like a heavier ski, yet, tour like a pure carbon setup.
  3. Alpine touring and ski mountaineering friendly – Plain and simple, these skis are a dream, especially for long tours/days. They tour very well and with the side cut, allow you to dig an edge in on steep hard-packed skin tracks.
  4. Responsive – It’s like your feet are hard-lined to your skis. Efficient turn initiation and they do what you want them to do.
  5. One ski quiver – Amazing “all-around” backcountry ski. They shine in spring corn conditions (like a polished butter knife cutting through soft butter).
  6. Fun-ski (One of the more enjoyable models to ski. They’ll put a smile on your face, especially on those long descents with the sun shining and your friends hooting and hollering).

 

Cons:

  1. Tip deflection. They tend to struggle slightly in wet and heavy snow. They get slightly over-powered in high density snow over 10”. In these types of conditions you really need to be on them and ready to respond when they pop you out of your rhythm. If you are looking for a crud busting, super damp ski that likes nothing but straight lines, these aren’t the skis for you. If I were to make one change to this ski, I would stiffen and dampen the tip slightly.
  2. Top sheets tend to chip easier than other brands.
  3. Top sheets tend to be sticky and collect snow easily. All brands encounter this issue, but even in the cold of winter the top sheets will hold snow and increase the weight you are pushing around on the uphill.

 

Final impressions:

If you are a backcountry skier looking for a one-ski quiver that is light, responsive, durable, and consistent, then look no further. These skis will take you to those far away places you’ve been dreaming about and perform. They tour far better than any other ski I’ve ever owned. They certainly shine on steep and technical terrain. There’s no hesitation when it comes to making a precarious move on “no-fall zone” ski terrain. They hold an edge well when you need them to. Finally, these skis are absolutely beautiful and you’ll most likely get many comments from your partners. Buy a second pair and mount them above the fireplace so you can enjoy them even when you’re not out skiing.

 

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