We've been wanting to ski Lambslide couloir off of Long's southern flank for some time now.....last week we decided to pull the trigger.
Kevin Gilleste and I started at the trailhead shortly after 5am. It was cloudy and raining slightly when we first starting hiking. We broke through the clouds after a half hour.
The trail was dry for about a mile or two, then became snow covered. It was well packed so we decided to leave the skis off our feet and walk in our light weight shoes....
Once we cleared treeline the views were unbelievable and kept getting better as we headed west.
It was the first time into this area for me. Kevin has climbed many mixed/rock routes over the years in this cirque.
We met up with a group of people at the first restroom and asked them about the previous night's temps. They said it didn't get very cold. Needless to say I was worried that our ski descent might not happen without a good freeze.
More approach photos:
The shot above was a look back at Denver- totally clouded in.
A shot of me trying not to look tired....
Meeker's north face- Loft couloir to the right
Meeker's northern flank
A better shot of the Diamond
Kevin at Chasm Lake
A look east over Chasm Lake
We put boots/crampons on a little above this shot
After donning boots and crampons we started climbing Lambslide. We had to clear about 100 feet of east facing slope to enter the couloir. We were post holing in this area, but once on the north face everything was bulletproof....we decided to carry on. Here is some shots of the way up:
A look up from our staging area
Me booting up
There were two sections that we think rolled to 45 degrees- right off the bottom, and under the apron at the top. Couldn't be sure because we didn't bring anything to measure it exactly, but those were the steepest pitches.
The couloir had a decent size wet slide go down the middle of it recently. Also, much of the snow around the slide was becoming sun cupped. I wouldn't recommend skiing this line after mid June.
We made it to the top by 9:20am. Waited around until 10am so everything would soften up.....a cool breeze starting blowing in and our corn was delayed.
Our perch at the top of Lambslide
A look northeast from the top
The drop in and first few hundred feet were firm. The middle section softened up, then the last leg of the descent was really good. We mainly stayed on skiers left, but did a few turns on the right over the slide path.
Here are some shots of the descent:
Here I am entering the last steep pitch- snow was good on the right, but I soon crossed the path and finshed the descent on skier's left
We were able to ski some of way back to the car, but it was off and on combat skiing at its best.
Overall it was a great day out and a fun climb/ski. Hell of a slog into this area, but the views alone are worth it......7 hours car to car.
Thanks for reading-