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 Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
 Post Date:  12/07/2006 Modified: 12/03/2009
 Date Climbed:   03/06/2005
 Posted By:  doumall

 Elbert Winter Summit Ski Descent   

Date: March 6th, 2005
Route: Ascent of East Ridge, Ski Descent of Bartlett Creek Drainage
Vertical Skied: 4,400'
Vertical Climbed: 4,400'
Two way Milage: ~9


Been meaning to add this report for a while. Christoff, a German exchange student and I headed out for a ski descent of Mt Elbert. Weather was very good and had stabilized the snow pack in most areas over the past week and a half. Starting from the Mt Elbert tailhead, we hiked the east ridge route to the summit. There were a few tracks from previous hikers below treeline, making for easy route finding and quick travel. This route is class 1 through and through. Pic of the ascent route near treeline:
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Snowshoes were very useful below treeline and during the final 800' of ridgeline due to windloading. Here is a pic of me approaching the summit with pack which was way to big for the task:
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Some other lines for future consideration in the Box Creek Cirque:
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The views from the summit were great, a clear day with gusts around 30 mph. We could see all the Elks, most of the Sawatch, all the Ten Mile and Pike's Peak. Christoff and I took some pics and put on our frozen ski boots. We skied south off the summit on a nice windload then turned southeast approx 300' down. Skiing off the summit:
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and a pic from the upper section of the ski maybe 100' below the summit:
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Continued southeast over a fresh snow covered talus field (get a few good turns in then hit hidden rocks, then a few good turns then rocks...) until we met up with the top of a wide south facing gully just west of the cliff band on the North side of the Bartlett creek basin. The chute gave us a nice continuous 30 degree fall line with over 1000' of vertical. Lines from below:
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We followed the basin down, getting a few more nice pitches until around 11800'. Then travesed along the east ridge until we met up with the trail again around 11600'. Skied the remainder of the way down following the trail. The snow below treeline was in really bad condition due to the previous warmer days, but it made for a quick trip back to the car. Most of the ski route from near treeline (blue = ski, green = east ridge hike):
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


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