| North facing couloir and Demmings Drop
Mt Arkansas (Powder in June)
Elevation Gain= 2736
Date Skied= 06/01/2013
Partners= Henry Malony, George Rodney
POWDER IN THE SPRING
It has just been an amazing spring here this year considering how bad are snow was early season and ever one complaining! So scence it has been so nice i have been trying to get out at least once a week with any friends and just go ski something to enjoy this perfect weather. With all this beening said my good old time friend George Rodney calls me up on Thursday morning and said " hey i am working at Black Diamond (in park city utah) today but i am coming that way tonight with a bunch of next years skies to demo can we go bc skiing." My answer "FUCK YA........... as long as i get to shred a pair of next year skis" So as the day goes on i talk to my other friend that lives in Frisco, Henry Malony and try to find out where we want to ski. There is still alot of snow up here so lots of options are to be had. I saw on the Peak for Peace blog they skied moonshine couloir about a week before this so it looked way cool why not go do it. We had a group and a destination and we started to get ready.
I get a call from George at about 12 p.m. Thursday night saying that he is in Aspen and that he is gona crash for 4 hours then meet us at Copper at 630 a.m. and i was like ok what ever dude there is no way your going to make that. But sure thing woke up at 6 a.m at my house and there he was sitting in the drive way getting ready. Henry showed up around 630, we re-packed his car and where on are way to the Mt Arkansas.
It was fairly cold because of a nice strong wind that was present so we new that we where plenty early to get up there with out any wet snow problems. We left the car at 7 o clock in tennis shoes. Fallowing the road for about a mile or 1.5 in are shoes we made pretty good progress. After about an hour we switch out of are shoes and started off in are skins. We my have took the long way around because you could have bush waked straight up over a 800 ft hill to put you right in the front side of the bowl but instead we took the road around to the backside. Now you only had to climb about 300ft into the bowl.
Once you get over that hump you jaw will just drop You have about a 2,000ft couloir coming straight down at you and you just feel like a little dot on this huge amazing landscape. Everything up to this point was awsome we all had good hopes, feeling good, and good weather. Well welcome to the rockys and colorado as soon as you think u have the weather on your side it changes. We started walking towards moonshine couloir when all the sudden 40 to 50mph winds picked up. Wind is one of the hardest element for me to deal with because it can beat you up and wear you done very easy.
After that it took us a good 40 mins just to get to the apron of moonshine because of 70mph winds that where so strong they would blow us over! We found some rocks and tryed to hunker down for food and water. As we sat there the couloir was looking EPIC!!!! If you ask anyone that bc skies and is still here today they all know the hardest decision to make is to turn around In about 4 mins of trying to get food and water into are systems we all where freezing! I put on a fleece, puffy vest, shell jacket, and a down puffy and still was cold. WTF its spring not winter! So we had to make the hardest call, no go on moonshine couloir. 70mph winds 6 inches of new snow and a 20 ft cornice hanging off the top of the ridge would put us in ALOT of danger for the next hour or so of hiking. So with all this being said we looked just a little bit to the south of moonshine and there was a couloir that was north face so it had a little less wind protection and no 20 ft cornice looming at the top of it. All bundled up we took out are ax's off are bags put the skis on and started to boot up into 1,000 ft line of fresh untouched maybe un-skied couloir.
We made easy time going up the shoot, it had a great hard surface and nice fresh well bonded snow on top. It took us about 40 mins to get up to the top were there was no wind and warm weather haha. We dropped some layers, took some pics, fueled up, and got ready for the descent.
I clicked into my skis just totally amped up. One ski cut, two ski cut then 20ish turns of knee deep pow down a 55 degree Couloir. WORDS CANT DESCRIED HOW AWSOME THAT WAS!!!!
At the bottom of the couloir we were just in shock, there is now way it is June and we just skied that, AMAZING!!! Wind was still blowing hard so we took turns leap frogging down the apron and just had a blast!!!!
It was so windy there was no time to talk or you couldn't hear each other so we headed out. Once we were on the flats it was so windy it was blowing us back up the hill and it seemed like we were never going to get out of that place.
After fighting the winds for a little we were able to ski down to the road to where we had ditched are tennis shoes. It was so warm down there that we would have post hold all the way out on the snow patches so we tried to link the snow patches up and ski back to the car. We got about about 500 yards away from the car and then had to walk. IT WAS AN EPIC DAY!!! Glad George could make it and we maned up and got out there!
Elevation gain= 4908
Partners= Henry Malony, Sean Horner
INTO THE GORE!!!!!! I know alot of people get real sensitive about when you write about lines in the gore and all the trails and peaks are all suppose to stay secret. So i am sorta goning to do that because i sorta of like it that way. Keeps all you JOBOBS out of there!!!!!
This line is not deep in the gore so it is already getting more and more popular, so i dont think i have to write about how to get there, where to go and all that stuff. If you really like these mountains and want to experience them then you can do all the research you want and find out about them and go adventure into them!
With all that being said we left the trail head at 4 a.m. in tennis shoes,
switched to boots at 630,
skinned to the top and topped out at 845ish. We fueled up got the skies ready and dropped in at 9.
WELCOME TO COLORADO SNOW PACK WHEN YOU CAN DROP IN JUNE 8TH AND SET OFF A AVALANCHE!!!!! I have done about 10 bc ski trips this spring and finally got in trouble. I knew i had been pushing the limits the last few weeks but hey its June and spring, all the avalanches have slide and there are no problems............WRONG!!!! I dropped in, made 2 turns, heard a wired noise looked over my shoulder and the hole mountain was coming with me My head was like ya something is not right here. I was able to make a hop turn and sit into the hill. The avi stared to pull the backs of my skis down the couloir and i was just holding on for the ride. Lucky i was on the edge and after a sec or so the snow had gone around my body and i was sitting there just watching and listening to one of the scariest moments of my life so far! I yielded up to Sean and Henry to say i was alive. I got myself back together and was able to ski down to a safe spot. After my heart rate and adrenaline mellowed out i was able to evaluate the situation. I WAS NOT THINKING AND GOT COCKY!!! The entrance of the couloir is east facing so it had already had 3 hours of sun on it, i did not ski cut or do any snow checks and i payed for it. Now that i was in the couloir thought the snow felt alot better because it bends and is north west facing. This aspect felt like it had some really good corn. Henry and Sean were able to ski the bed surface down to me and we talked about are options. We decided to keep going for it and it was great corn skiing! We took turns leap frogging down the line as we always do playing around and enjoying every second. Once your at the bottom u feel like you are in the middle of no where and have a beautiful landscape to look at.
We took about a 30 mins to relax and enjoy the view but we had to keep moving because we had to get out of there still! But since i was still alive and survived a big scare i had to take an extra min to take some pics of me in My best friend bike jersey that passed away almost 2 years ago! THAT JERSEY OR HIM SAVED ME!!!!! He passed away when we were 18 years old, seniors in high school, it has been 2 years and it still feels just like yesterday i was with him. Now i know he is still with me!
Now its time to get out of there. Took us about 1 hr to kick steps straight up out of there.
Best thing about this line is that you get to ski 2 lines hahah. We knew it was super hot and east facing and there was still active snow layers out there so we took a nice cruising run all the way out of there.
put are shoes on and walked out. 10 hours later we were at the trail head ready for some R&R!
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