Peak(s):  Challenger Point  -  14,081 feet
Post Date:  03/30/2014
Date Climbed:   03/29/2014
Posted By:  cjw

 Challenger - Kirk Couloir   

Looks like ski season is finally approaching. Pam wanted to warm up with a death slog and chose Challenger.

Willow Lake looking South:

Looking West from above Willow Lake (the peak in the back ground looks to have an interesting line):

Kat and Kit Carson:

From our lunch spot we debated what was Kirk couloir. We were not sure where exactly the summit was, and I was having a hard time thinking that double fall line snow pile on the left was Kirk Couloir, esp when the line just to the right photo center looked much more asthetic. We chose to climb that line. From this spot that is 2,000'. We attained the ridge only to find out the summit was 20 minutes south, all in sand blasting spindrift wind gusts.

In hindsight we chose well. This couloir had 6-8" powder to boot pack, we would later realize the Kirk Couloir was more like 12-14" and we may well have bailed.

Crestone Peak, Dunes, Points South:

Crestone Peak looking a bit bare this year:

Points North:

Not much here, but only picture I got with the intermittent wind gales:

We generally have rule to climb what we are going to ski. This didn't boost confidence.

The Easy Listening section:

This section was steep and great skiing, but again, not having climbed it we were a bit apprehensive:

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Sweet.     03/31/2014 04:31
Looks like a gorgeous day, and good snow. Glad the apprehension did not come to fruition, but the skiing did. well done.


Perfection     03/31/2014 04:34
Wow, you guys scored. This looks like so much fun.


Nice!     03/31/2014 05:33
Much better condition than I found it in last spring.

George James

Nice to meet you!     03/31/2014 07:44


Thanks George     03/31/2014 15:47
Good meeting you (again?). How did your day pan out?


George James

Cheers     03/31/2014 16:30
I think it was my friends Evan and Michelle that you had ran into prior (they were there too).

We cut our day short by one line due to winds approaching nuclear velocities, but we had a great morning on Kit Carson.


This is...     03/31/2014 16:28
Awesome! Looks like a great day. How was the hike up to Willow Lake?


Conditions look great     03/31/2014 19:19
Nice work guys!


cool...     03/31/2014 19:29

All these TRs are making me anxious to get out. Have the sangs been getting any snow lately or forecasted to get any? Most of the peaks look a little boney.


Willow Lake Hike     03/31/2014 22:40
We hiked on foot to about ~11,000 +-100' (somewhere in the middle of the big headwall) at a stream crossing. Started hiking on dirt, quickly went to snow pack for the first set of switch backs, then mostly dirt until mentioned stream crossing. Skin from there on up. The way out was identical, we did not ski anywhere below the stream crossing.


awesome TR     04/01/2014 20:51
Did you guys get an up close look at the ice by willow lake by chance?




Nice, Chris     04/01/2014 21:55
Looks way better than the bulletproof snow when I skied it.


Re: Ice     04/01/2014 22:31
We did not get close enough to touch it, but up higher there was a small horizontal flow and it was rock hard.


Ice     04/02/2014 17:58
Awesome thanks.

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