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 Peak(s):  Hagar Mtn  -  13,220 feet
 Post Date:  03/25/2012
 Date Climbed:   03/24/2012
 Posted By:  Mickeys Grenade
 Additional Members:   dchambliss

 Hagar Mountain Ski Tour   

Hagar Mountain Ski Tour

Starting elevation ~ 10,600 Loveland Pass Exit off I-70
Summit 13,220
Approach - Dry Gulch
Who - Mickeys Grenade (Jeff) and dchambliss (Don)

We started out carrying our skiis on our backs down the road to Dry Gulch. There was enough snow on the road that we could not drive to the gate, but not enough snow to ski to the gate. Shortly after the gate there was enough snow to skin up the road into Dry Gulch. We left the car about 6:30 AM. The weather was sunny and warm. After one break the jackets came off.
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Sun Hit on the Citadel

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Sun Hit on the Citadel

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Hagar Mountain Ski Descent Line

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Don at 2nd Break

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Hagar Mountain

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Citadel

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Saddle to the South of Hagar

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Don Carrying Skiis to Saddle

We decided to carry our skiis and kick steps up to the saddle. It would have been difficult to skin up to the saddle. The snow was hard in spots. Then we carried skiis up the South Ridge to the top.
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Mt. of the Holy Cross in the Distance

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Don Climbing Up South Ridge

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Hagar Mountain

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Zoom in on Mt. of the Holy Cross

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Don Heading down to dig a snow pit

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We tried something new on this trip. We set up a belay and Don went down the slope to dig a snow pit. There was 4-5 inches of wet snow on top, 3 thin ice layers, and 5-6 inches of depth hoar at the bottom. Don did a shovel compression test. 5 wrist taps - nothing. 5 elbow taps - nothing. 3 shoulder taps - Failure! The ice layer just above the depth hoar failed.
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We regrouped at the top and discussed the situation. We decided that we were both willing to accept the risk to ski this face. This descent is Southeast facing and CAIC had a moderate avalanche rating. It's about 400 feet of vertical and gets to ~ 40 degrees. We had our beacons on and prepared for the descent. We skiied from the small saddle in between the twin summits.
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The snow was soft and the skiing was exciting
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Don getting up after small crash

It was an awesome ski descent. I was so happy that it was time for a Cheetos moment
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Time for a Cheetos Moment

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It's sad that there isn't more snow in the mountains right now. It felt more like June then March on this ski tour. The rest of the ski out was fun. There is a section near the bottom that is kind of flat with willows sticking up through the snow. We had to carry our skiis from just above the gate back up hill to the car. It was a great trip that provided a lot of fun. We got back to the car at 2:00 PM.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
dchambliss


Sparse for March     2012-03-25 09:00:40
Great trip report and stellar pics. I particularly liked the Cheetos, my favorite pack food. Great day in a really great place. Good job.


pioletski


Thanks for a nice report...     2012-03-25 20:18:37
looks like a good day!


brech


How wet was the snowpack     2012-03-27 14:36:23
Did you notice how much water was in the lower layers of the snowpack?


Mickeys Grenade



Snowpack     2012-03-27 14:56:57
The surface layer of 4-6 inches was wet. There seemed to be 3 thin ice layers in the snowpack under the wet surface layer, but those layers did not slide. It was the depth hoar at the very bottom that I was most concerned about. So far it seems that the warm weather has not reached the lower snowpack, but that will change slowly over time.



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