I remember the first time I saw Pike's North Face from Woodland Park, I thought "people ski that?" I went up about this time last year for a look, coverage was too thin for the ski, but it looked much more mellow than the Woodland Park view. Between road closures and unstable weather Pikes can be tough to time.
After the Eolus jaunt last weekend and getting ready for Rainier this weekend, I was hesitant to squeeze in a midweek trip. However Chris is leaving CO for CA next week and I really wanted to get out for one more ski with him before he leaves. For those that have read some of my other TRs you know that Chris has been a great partner this spring. I am bummed to see him leave.
After accompanying me on number of slogs, a short mellow day with good steep skiing would be a nice close to his ski season.
The weather looked best on Tuesday, so we set the plan. We departed much later than normal for a spring ski since we would be skiing straight from the parking lot on the summit.
As we sat in the warm truck, finishing up coffee and waiting for the snow to soften, I kind of felt like we were cheating in some way. As 14er skiing goes this was luxurious.
We scoped the various descent options and finally settled on the skier's left branch of the Y Couloir. The snow was still a little firm up top, but we figured it would be softer below.
I took the first few turns and sure enough it softened up in a short distance. Chris dropped in and laid down some nice turns down to the choke.
We heard two climbers below us ascending the other branch of the Y and waited for them to move above us.
The choke took some negotiation but was soon behind us. A second rock band went without a problem as well.
Jump turns were the order of the day.
We soon found ourselves nearing the bottomless pit and surprisingly the snow got firmer. When the turns were no longer fun we put skis on our backs and started the climb back up. Recent traffic has left a really nice boot pack, which was much appreciated.
We stepped our way up to the cornice at the summit and then back to the truck.
Thanks to the boot pack it only took about 2 hours truck to truck. A good ending Chris. I really appreciated your partnership this spring. We will have to hit my old playground, Shasta, next spring. Some good skiing up there. Good luck buddy.
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