Elev. Gain/Lost: 3,703
Miles Traveled: Around 8 Miles
It has been winter the last few days in summit country and all the ski areas are closed. So of course as soon as the resorts close the snow starts to fly. But this weekend we have had a nice break in the weather and are back to spring weather.
So with the nice weather coming in i had been looking at some new lines to ski. I leave at the base of copper mountain, Jacques peak is right out my back door and was lookin fun. So i started to look around for some info and could not find a lot of information on this peak. And i found out why, it is a long hike!!!! After deciding to ski this mtn my dad said that the strip of snow down the north east face is called Duffys Rage, after one of the head Copper mtn ski patrols. He said he had skied it back in the 1980's and he would love to do it again. So Miranda, (my gf) Corky (my dad) and i started out the next moring at 5:30a.m. from the base of copper.
I mounted a pair of new skins for my dad a few days ago and must have been way out of it becasue i mounted them backwards he tryed going up hill and just kept sliding down but then when he turned down hill he had to walk sooooo luckily we live right at the base so and he was able to run and get his old skins and started about 15mins behind us.
Going up copper is pretty easy nothing crazy steep just a really long Flat walk. Finally after about 2 hrs we where at the top of S lift (Serria Lift). From here we where able to fallow the ridge out and go for the summit.
As we started to head out the ridge the early morning and long hike was starting to hit us. Also miranda was struggling with some boot problems. So we took about a 45min breakfast break and miranda took her boots off and had to tap up some blisters. The weather couldn't have been any better! And the views of the gore, Mt Holy Cross and the ten mile so cool! Finally we got ready again and made a summit push!
Going across the ridge there where a few rocky/ grassy parts what we just walked across on are skins, but for the most part it was good snow all the way up. The last 200 yard of the ridge got a little treaty and steep. We ended up taking the skies off and boot packin up the last part.
Summit Pic! Corky Miranda Conor
There is 2 ways to get into this snow field and they both are a little tricky. If you come threw the lower part of the rock buttress it is a good class 4 scramble for about 50 yards and you are pretty well exposed. Plus with the new snow we could not so the rocks soo we ended up going up and around it on the ridge. When you get on top of the buttress you can down climb about 60 yards on some class 3 scrambling. In ski boots and with new snow this was a little tricky
Once we got down the scrambling part we were in for some fun skiing. We where expecting this feature to have good corn skiing but we were wrong. PRETTY EPIC WINTER SNOW LIGHT, FLUFFY, SOFT SNOW!!!! We took turns leap frogging down and taking turns figure 8'ing each other and just loving it! Best 45 degree pitch for about 1430 vertical Ft i have skied in a long time.
Miranda Given it off the top
Corky and I just lovin it
Gettin ready for father son figure 8's
In Aw at the bottom
When we got to the bottom we all had the biggest smileys and just in AW about how amazing that was. We wanted to hike back up and do it again but we new we had a 4 mile hike/ ski out so we grabbed some food, drank some water, threw the skis on the back and started to kick steeps out of the bowl up to coppers ski area boundary/ union meadows if you are familiar with the resort. As you hike out all you can do is try and kick one leg infront of the other, go at a steady pass, and try not to look back all the time to see your tracks down DUFFY'S RAGE
Lookin back at your tracks
hiking out of the bowl
Once you get out of the bowl it was a pretty easy ski back home. All you had to do is fallow the ski area boundary signs back to the base of copper. Round trip we where out for about 6 hours. When we got home we shoveled pasta and water down to try and get the system to reboot. After that we got a thing of milk duds, hoped in the hut tub and got are bronze on! all and all not bad for a nice Sunday morning!