Loveland Mtn (South Gulley), 5.9 miles, 2600' Vert.
Mt. Helen and Father Dyer Pk, 7.4 miles, 3200' Vert
Climbers: Me, Michael
Due to the very low snow amounts this year and the incessant sun poundage, Mike suggested a commencement to couloir season. Snow climbs, forgot about those....great idea dude!
As we bounced ideas around on the phone I mentioned Loveland Mountain and instantly Mike remembered a line we had spotted the previous weekend on Pennsylvania. The plans were set.
Takin after the fact from Mosquito Pass Rd
The bottom section was the steepest part of the climb and only got to high 40s while the rest of the climb averaged 45. Felt amazing to strap on the points and get on some spring-like snow though!
Me headin up
Some sweet alpen glow on Pen and friends
We got back to the car around 9:30 and headed to our next climb but not before stopping in Breck for an equipment addition. Mountain Outfitters is a reprise to all the phony "Alpine gear shops" in Breck. This shop is seriously cool and a great place to grab some real gear. Find it north of the supermarket in Breck on Ridge St.
I won't go into much detail on the Father Dyer-Helen traverse because Aaron (andyouseeme) already did but all I want to say is that we planned the climb before he put up his TR. Way to get after those 1 3 triple 0s Aaron!
NE ridge on Father Dyer
The NE ridge of Father Dyer offered a little spice and was kinda fun with some pretty narrow sections along the way.
North Face of Pacific
We both felt that you could stay ridge proper the whole time. There exists some sections that are quite akward and a little hair raising making the ridge enjoyable to say the least.
Mike and the NE ridge of Father Dyer
Luckily, we started early enough and were able to get to Mason's BBQ in Fairplay around 6 pm (they close at 7). Wo-hoo!!
Peaks Climbed: Mt. Guyot, 10.6 miles, 2900' vert
Climbers: Same two hombres
I'm pretty sure this climb is the one and only Mr. Middlebrook's brain child. Aside from Mike's extolling of the route, once he showed me the pic of it, I was sold.
After hiking into the amazing basin under Guyot which is a definite sore thumb for that area due to its ruggedness and steep steep chutes, we came to the realization that the face which was quite plentiful of snow from a shot Middlebrook took and posted, was now remarkably void of whiteness. Mike and I were unsure how the conditions would be in our main climb but heading up the basin we could already spot some sweet lookin couloirs we persumed would do us just fine.
View of our main object
We were unsure of how the route would go up top (we would later find out it would go via a steep traverse then following a narrow rib to the summit ridge) but all this was moot. Due to the heavy snow melt, part of the route iced up significantly. The fact that we did not know what would lie in store for us once we turned the corner coupled with the fact that if we climbed the ice wall, descending it would be a harrowing task, we decided to forego the main climb.
Crux before the turn to unchartered territory
And from this rejection was born the "Plan B" couloir.
Prominent line to the left of B we dubbed the "Plan C" couloir
This route didn't mess around and bucked us up quickly to 45 degrees, then maintained a cool 55 with 60-65 spread out here and there. Mike and I were on cloud nine, lovin life.
It was around this point I infamously exclaimed, "This is Mountaineering!"
The rock angle to Mike's left is a good inditication of the couloir angle
Looking down from the top
Another view of the line
Overall, was an amazing beginning to spring climbing with some unseasonably great conditions, a wholesome adventure, good BBQ and most importantly, good times in the mountains.
And before I get all Sigourney Weaver, lets remember that we need to give back to this place we live (Earth) as much as it gives to us by trying our best to reduce our footprint on the land. Tread lightly my friends