| The Other Mount Evans
Mount Evans B - 13,577‘ (204th highest)
North Ridge via Mosquito Pass Road at
Leadville Winter Closure, appx 11,000‘
9 Miles RT, Appx 2600‘ gain
Easter to me has always been a family holiday. We were never too religious, but always got together for a big meal, exchanged easter candy, that sort of thing. Now that I live up here obviously I don‘t get to see my family for Easter, so tend to spend my holiday either skiing or climbing peaks, my "second home" so to speak. This was a peak year, and I decided that Mount Evans would be the lucky peak to share my company.
I was pleasantlt surprised that the Mosquito Pass road was plowed about 3 1/2 miles from US 24 in Leadville. This would be a nice reasonable day mileage wise. I strapped on the skis and started to skin up the road a little before 9am. The early going was good, as this is a popular winter playground for snowmobilers and there is a groomed track much of the way into the upper basin.
The upper slopes towards Mosquito Pass were now becoming visible and looked like they would provide a reasonable ski descent later. I wasn‘t sure if the skins were going to be just a convenience on the road or actually beneficial up high until now, so I was glad to see this.
I took a short break around 12,500‘ where the slopes to Mosquito Pass start to steepen. Here the road switch backs to the pass, but I opted to follow the power lines towards some radio towers on the ridge above and to the south of the pass. This would shorten the mileage for one, and give me an idea of snow conditions for my descent. I made good time to the radio towers and decided to keep the skis on as it looked like continuous snow may be an option to the summit
The ridge was flat and windy, but the snow was workable for skinning. There were some narrow and thin patches, and I figured skiing back down would just cut up my bases, but it worked for the ascent. Soon I was passing another group of radio towers and looking up at the final slopes to the summit. With all the mines and radio towers and power lines, you can tell this area has seen a lot of human activity over the years, but today I was the only one up here.
The final slopes went quickly and soon flattened out. The summit was visible and despite the wind, it was a beautiful day and I knew the views were going to be well worth the effort.
I enjoyed a snack and took some summit photos, below are a few views of the surrounding peaks from the summit.
Dyer, with its class 4 west ridge in full glory:
Elbert and Massive across the valley:
Of course I took the obligatory summit photo as well. Those of you who have read my trip reports over the years have probably noticed there usually aren‘t any pictures of me, well here is a "Happy Easter" to 14ers.com of me on the summit with a little friend, a Peeps bunny
It was then time to prepare for my ski descent. The slopes are pretty mellow on this one, barely exceeding 20 degrees if you stay on route, so avy danger was not a concern. I was able to ski off the summit and managed a few good turns before the flat ridge between the two groups of radio towers. Here I even took them off and walked a bit as part of it was up hill. I left them off as I traversed that earlier thin spot to save the bases and then was able to ski almost all the way from the lower radio tower to the car. The section along the power lines was nice, but the best snow came a little lower down on a nice 20 degree roll over that the road bypasses:
All total it was a great day for a peak climb, beautiful sunshine, and even the breeze wasn‘t too bad. You can tell things are getting warmer, two months ago the wind chill would have been much worse!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):