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Peak(s):  Mt Cameron - 14,238 feet
Post Date:  04/29/2010
Date Climbed:   04/27/2010
Posted By:  pioletski


 Mt Cameron ski (South side)   


"I don't get no respect!"



Climb and summit ski of Mt Cameron (14,238'), 4/27/2010
Ben (benners), Matt (pioletski)
~6 miles RT, 3238' climbed and skied

Cameron is, without doubt, the Rodney Dangerfield of the 14ers. If it weren't perched on the shoulder of Mt Lincoln, it would rank #17 on the list. As seen from Kite Lake, it looks as imposing as its 14,238' stature deserves... until you reach the summit and see that the ridge barely dips before resuming the climb up to Lincoln's summit. Still, it has a way of demanding respect. Besides, to reiterate my description of South Elbert, there are less interesting summits on the list of full-fledged 14ers.

So much for my excuses. I'm not sure what Ben's were, but the upshot was that skiing Cameron was on both of our lists. Something to do while we wait for Bross to (a) become legally accessible and (b) have snow on its summit. (Could this be the true significance of 2012?)

So... we met up in Frisco at 5 am, piled Ben's gear into my truck and headed toward Alma. The road was still blocked by a snowdrift at Paris Mill, though mostly dry once past that point:

Image
(benners)


In about an hour (7:00 am) we were passing Kite Lake:

Image
(pioletski)


... and observing the snow-plumes coming off Cameron's summit ridge. Imagine that, a windy day in the Mosquitos.

Image
(benners)


As we skinned toward the saddle between Cameron and Democrat, the sun finally rose above the ridge to the East. Seeing my shadow for the first time that day, I thought: six more weeks of skiing? That would be ok with me!

Image
(pioletski)


The warmth of the sun was welcome...

Image
(benners)


... but was overwhelmed by the cold wind, as we gained elevation:

Image
(pioletski)


Local property owners lurking on this site will note that Ben is on the official trail:

Image
(pioletski)


Ascending the ridge, we see Quandary peeking over Cameron's shoulder:

Image
(pioletski)


Wind-sculpted snow along the ridge:

Image
(pioletski)


Did I mention that it was windy?

Image
(benners)


Looking over at Bross. I wonder which will happen first: a legally accessible summit, or snow on the top?

Image
(pioletski)


Arriving at the summit, which is dominated by Lincoln:

Image
(pioletski)


Here comes Ben, stumbling like a drunkard in the wind:

Image
(pioletski)


We stuck around just long enough to snap a couple of pictures and decide to descend the south face rather than skiing east and then re-climbing over the saddle between Cameron and Bross. There just wasn't much snow in Cameron Amphitheater. The Russian Couloir is certainly not in, and we were guessing that even the normally reliable Georgia Chute might not be skiable just now. In fact all the east- and west-facing slopes were pretty well stripped, even after the recent snowfall, only the underlying concrete remained.

Here's Matt ready to go...

Image
(benners)


.. Ben ready to go...

Image
(pioletski)


... and Matt off the summit. There was a cornice of sorts on this side, not undercut, but enough to indicate some degree of wind-loading.

Image
(benners)


Oddly, as seen in this picture of Ben, the wind seemed to be blowing hard UP this slope:

Image
(pioletski)


The result was a bit treacherous. The slope was inconsistently wind-loaded, and although it seemed solid at the top, I strayed onto an unstable slab about 15 or 20 feet diameter that broke loose under me, carrying me about 100 feet downhill before I managed to stop. It was not big or deep enough for burial to be a concern, but I did get dragged over some sharp rocks and came out with the all-too-common skier's thumb injury. I'm not enough of a drama queen to describe this as getting "caught in an avalanche", but it's true that even a small slide can wreak havoc. Here I am looking up from the bottom, feeling lucky to get away with nothing worse...

Image
(benners)


Thus does Cameron demand respect!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Yog


Good pics and Beta     02/05/2011 00:22
Way to stay on the trail! Thanks for posting current conditions, been thinking about Cameron for a training hike since it‘s the only one there I don‘t have. Looked hella windy up there!!!


ski14er

Cameron     04/30/2010 21:33
I saw you up there that day, I was one of the fellows you met on the road. I too made it up Cameron, and it sure was windy. I would guess 30mph with gusts to 50. From that it seemed somewhat obvious that there was some loading going on. Never could see the slide you let off, although I looked for it. Glad it didm‘t cause major problems, and congrats on the summit.


otherbrotherdarryl

Nice job     04/30/2010 21:50
Stay safe out there, dudes!


JohnWilliams


Nice Work Ben!     05/09/2011 17:48
You planning on skiing longs this spring?


benners


Thanks dude     11/30/2010 17:28
for another good day and writeup. Glad to hear your hand is healing up nicely, we still have some big fish to fry .

John: I doubt it. I can't imagine getting Longs in better condition than we got it last spring, so my skiing Longs Peak chapter will likely be closed for awhile. When you gonna get up there again?



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