Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Kit Carson Peak  -  14,165 feet
Challenger Point  -  14,081 feet
 Post Date:  04/06/2012
 Date Climbed:   04/01/2012
 Posted By:  Carl
 Additional Members:   XC Snowboarder, rmiller, Gueza

 Skiing Kit Carson & Challenger   

Kit Carson Peak via Outward Bound Couloir, ski descent of Cole's Couloir
Challenger Point via the Avenue, ski descent of Kirk's Couloir
March 31st & April 1st
Approx 15 miles
Approx. 6,500 vert
with Marc, Rob, Eric, and Adam



After stopping for beers (for those in the group 21+) at the Fritz in Salida we got to the Willow Creek trailhead around 4pm and were starting up the sandy trail by 4:30pm.
Image
Photo by Rob


Took about 2 hours to hike the 2,000 vertical feet to where the snow began.
Image

Nearing Willow Lake as the sun neared the horizon. Nice to cross paths with Bill and Caroline before dark.
Image

Sat around the small fire and enjoyed the prosciutto and pear sandwich from the Fritz.
Image

Laid in my bivy bag and couldn't sleep so I pulled out the camera. Doesn't begin to do justice to how amazing the sky looked.
Image

The benefit of coming in the afternoon prior meant we didn't feel the need to get started until around 6am. Crossed Willow Lake around twilight.
Image

Mark pointing to the Kirk Couloir that we skied later that afternoon.
Image

Skinned around Kit Carson to find the Outward Bound couloir in good condition.
Image

Marc making progress in the OB.
Image

The pitch was fairly mellow until it steepened for the finish and got near vertical for the last few feet. Would have made for a fun ski with an exciting entrance.
Image

Made the summit a little after 10am. Rob, Marc, and Me.
Image

Sand dunes and the Little Bear / Blanca group.
Image

Adam relaxing on top of Kit Carson, with what little snow remains from another below average winter in the Sangres.
Image

Eric heading towards Cole's Couloir.
Image

Marc on his 49th 14er snowboard descent.
Image

Climbed up the Avenue and headed towards Challenger.
Image

Working my way across.
Image
Photo by Rob


A nice wind feature two/thirds of the way across the Avenue allowed us the opportunity to take a break with our packs still on and skis hanging off the backside.
Image

Neared the top of Challenger around noon.
Image

Me, Eric, Marc, and Rob on Challenger Point.
Image

Rob on the descent.
Image

Marc with Kit and the Crestones in the backdrop.
Image

Eric is up next.
Image

Conditions in the Kirk were better than expected. Rob headed in...
Image

Followed by Marc.
Image

The snow in the apron was hard and fast. Cautious skiing ensued to Willow Lake.
Image

Rob and Eric bravely navigated this bottomless crevasses as we made our way around the lake.
Image

Marc and Adam decided to take the high road. To avoid the crevasse danger perhaps? You can see the yellow snowboard popping through the willows above and lookers right of the waterfall.
Image

Put skins back on for the brief descent to camp. After enjoying a tall Red Bull Rob and I were ready to break trail downhill through the rotten snowpack.
Image

Exchanged the ski boots for trail shoes just below 11,000ft. An hour and a half later we were back at the car. One more left.
Image



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
mountainmicah83


Beautiful     2012-04-06 06:13:09
Love the video. Nicely done guys.


Kevin Baker


Excellent     2012-04-06 06:58:00
Very nice vid, Carl! So how was the ski of Cole's? I guess you were probably in it for just a bit. You probably saw our tracks. Nice job!


pioletski


Nicely done!     2012-04-06 07:26:55
And great video! Way to get after it in this scratchy season. Carl, what's your finisher going to be?


Yikes


The Fritz     2012-04-06 07:59:15
prosciutto and pear sandwich rocks. love that place.

Nice report. Maybe I should get off the couch....


benners


Good Job Fellas!     2012-04-06 08:59:31
Way to make em go in thin conditions, and nice vid Carl!


Elliot


Nice Work Guys     2012-04-06 08:46:32
Hope for some more spring snow Carl!


mtnfiend


Schweet!     2012-04-06 09:28:10
Cool video Carl. Good work getting it done dudes!!


lodgling


Straightline     2012-04-06 10:37:10
Love the straightline into the crevasse at the end of the video. Great stuff all around. Looks like spirits were pretty high on this one -- you guys sure make a grunt look like a good time. Here's to the next one . . .



. . . or eight (sorry Marc).


BillMiddlebrook


Strong team!!     2012-04-06 10:53:56
Good job guys. Where did you ditch Adam after summiting KC?? I hope you didn't make him ski into OB alone - that entrance looked spicey!


USAKeller


Great job guys!     2012-04-06 11:55:52
OB looks fun! Glad you didn't have the forecasted winds either. And, nice to see you again for the umpth-millionth time!


tmathews

Loved it!     2012-04-06 13:18:40
Man, it seems like I know every corner of that approach to Willow Lake. Awesome report and video! Congrats to all!


KansasBoarder


Well Played!     2012-04-06 13:19:01
Those mountains look AMAZINGLY aesthetic. Nice turns, man!


Bean


Looks miserable     2012-04-06 18:12:20
Shame I missed it.


jam6880


Your the man carl!!!!     2012-04-06 18:30:24
Great video. Praying for a lot of snow down south for you. What lens do you have in your I/O's?


jesse


Great Runs!     2012-04-07 10:02:07
Way to make use of little snow, what an exciting video as well. Thanks for writing this report I liked it alot. Did you happen to see snow conditions on Humboldt or Obstruction Peaks?


RJansen77


Great job guys!     2012-04-07 10:08:49
It's been fun to watch you progress towards this goal Carl, praying that the Sangres get slammed again for you!


Carl


Thanks for the comments...     2012-04-08 11:05:15
The lenses in those Smith goggles that I use for sunny days are the darkest ones available, Gold Sol-X Mirror, which is marketed as letting through 7% of light. Kevin, we thought we might see your group up there again going for another grid spot for Ken. Tough to see your tracks but we heard from Caroline and Bill you were in the area. Skiing more of the Cole would have been fun. Bill, unfortunately Adam didn't make the Challenger group photo because he was relaxing at the saddle. Entrance to OB would have been spicy, but doable. The ridge of Humbolt we were looking at was dry, but I can't say what kind of posthole nightmare awaits in the trees. Long range forecast is calling for storms in the Sangres! We'll see.


Dancesatmoonrise


Sweet     2012-04-09 08:20:24
Great trip, gents. Carl, congrats on your pre-finisher.



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.