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 Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
 Post Date:  05/26/2008
 Date Climbed:   05/25/2008
 Posted By:  RoanMtnMan

 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.

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I was at the basin below the North Face in 15 minutes, not sure what happened there, must have been the biscuits and gravy.

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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.

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The clouds were intermittent, keeping the snow in good condition even though it was late. I made use of the ready-made staircase.

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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.

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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.

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The next thing I knew I was on the summit. It took about 2 hours all in.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Once the skis were back on I side-stepped down a thin snow layer that wasn't sticking to the rock very well.

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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.

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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.

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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):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
Ken Gross


BCA inclinometer     2008-05-26 18:37:28
Get a life link.... they meaure to 90 degrees


RoanMtnMan


Re: BCA inclinometer     2008-05-26 18:41:33
Good advice. Though after 50 degrees I think a rope is more in order.



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