| Mt Evans - North Couloir/Summit Lake Bowl Ski
After Huron yesterday, I was pretty beat physically. I got up at 7am and the weather was great. I had toyed with the idea of doing Evans today, but I wasn't sure how much stamina was left in my legs. I ate a big breakfast and decided I would head up to Evans to have a look. The road was only open to Summit Lake. I felt like I should only be charged $7 instead of $10.
I got to the parking lot at 10am, alpine start. It was surprisingly cool. 29 degrees I believe, with a breeze. It was late and I was tired, so I decided I would just skin up to the base of the North Face and do some recon.
I was at the basin below the North Face in 15 minutes, not sure what happened there, must have been the biscuits and gravy.
I was feeling stronger than I estimated, so I decided to move a little higher to check the snow and poach a few turns. As I neared the face, I noticed 3 climbers higher up.
The clouds were intermittent, keeping the snow in good condition even though it was late. I made use of the ready-made staircase.
I made good time and the next thing I knew I was into the 40 degree section of the route. Down climbing would be a pain and putting on skis would be tricky, so I decided the best option was up.
Seconding a snow slope is so much easier than kicking steps. Before I knew it I was into the narrow 50 degree section. People argue about steepness all the time. Most people over estimate it. I pulled out my BCA inclinometer and measured for reference. It only goes to 50 degrees and the bead was not visible.
The next thing I knew I was on the summit. It took about 2 hours all in.
There was still snow from the summit boulder. I hadn't really planned to do the whole climb and still didn't have a descent picked out. The snow in the couloir I ascended was in good shape. Deep and well bonded. Perhaps I was still a little sketched by the slide the previous day. I elected to ski traverse over to the Summit Lake Bowl.
I was able to weave my way off the summit and across the ridge with some side-stepping, kick-turning, and billy-goating. Pretty much my entire arsenal.
I made it to the top of the bowl and realized it wasn't continuous. There was good snow at the top, then a section of exposed rock. I down climbed that section. Maybe 100 feet.
Once the skis were back on I side-stepped down a thin snow layer that wasn't sticking to the rock very well.
The bowl opened up and I encountered another problem. The snow was sticking to the bottom of my skis like I've never experienced. I tried kicking it off, banging it with a ski pole, and verbal abuse. None of it worked. I realized later that the slush on my ski out of Huron the previous day had removed all of the wax.
I finally resigned to performing the trick of removing my skis on a high 30s slope. It wasn't really the kind of snow that one can stomp a nice ledge into. I completed the maneuver and started the jump turn circus. The descent was enjoyable after I built up some downward momentum.
I was off in no time. A look back up at my tracks from the basin.
I layered down and skied to the parking lot. Took one last pick of the face, my ascent route on the far left and ski tracks on the right.
Though not planned, it was a good day. It was my first time to Summit Lake. I will be back here often I think. It's close and has a wealth of good ski lines. Going to have to figure out the $10 entrance fee though. That's crazy. Even crazier were the number of cars in the parking lot when I returned.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):