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 Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
 Post Date:  06/03/2010
 Date Climbed:   06/01/2010
 Posted By:  pioletski

 Trying new toys on Mt Evans   

Ascent and summit ski descent of Mt Evans via Summit Lake Bowl, June 1, 2010
Gerlinde (telerina13), Matt (pioletski)
2 miles, 1434' climbed, 1400' skied

With Gerlinde getting more and more interested in ski mountaineering, and not wanting to travel too far while still recovering from Memorial Day weekend (which, for me, involves a lot of work), Mt Evans beckoned. She had a newly mounted pair of skis and a brand-new set of crampons to try out, and the Summit Lake Bowl offered a good proving ground. The only question was snow cover. We had seen how thin the Front Range was getting on Bierstadt two days before, so we figured it was either now or next year.

We left the Summit Lake parking area at 7:30 am, in a chilly breeze, with the moon still peering down at us:

Image
(telerina13)


Hiking up into the upper bowl, it appeared that we would have a choice of at least a couple of climbing/skiing lines. When it came to the point, however, there was only one ski route that wouldn't involve some downclimbing.

Image
(pioletski)


We continued upwards, enjoying the unfolding view. Here, to the north, are Longs and Meeker:

Image
(pioletski)


As the slope steepened, we trotted out the shiny new crampons:

Image
(pioletski)


Gerlinde kept smiling as the pitch grew into the serious range...

Image
(pioletski)


... and before long (but after a brief taste of mixte climbing), she was photographing her boot with the summit benchmark:

Image
(telerina13)


When we gained the ridge, west of the summit block, it appeared so melted out that a summit ski was not available. We left our skis on the ridge and scrambled to the summit. I wasn't disappointed - it wouldn't be the first summit I'd had to repeat - but I realized, walking around the corner, that there was enough snow on the summit itself. I ran back to retrieve my skis...

Image
(telerina13)


... and clicked in on the summit. Gerlinde, who is not playing this silly game, left her skis on the ridge.

Image
(telerina13)


Pickin's wuz thin on the summit block...

Image
(telerina13)


... though I have had thinner. I did have to take the skis off for about 50 yards, being careful to put them back on at a higher point than where they came off.

Image
(telerina13)


We then traversed west along the ridge and discovered that there was only one route down that wouldn't involve a sketchy downclimb. It was steep and icy; I found it intimidating, and Gerlinde didn't like the look of it:

Image
(telerina13)


Conveniently, there is a road to the top of Mt Evans. I skied on down to the lake, while Gerlinde remained at the summit...

Image
(telerina13)


... taking pictures of her boots...

Image
(telerina13)


... and skis...

Image
(telerina13)


... while I returned to the summit via road to pick her up.

Image
(pioletski)


I write all this in a lighthearted tone, but this has to be said: I was very impressed that Gerlinde was tough enough to "just say no" to conditions that she didn't like.

Thanks for reading; safe and happy trails!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
otherbrotherdarryl

awesome     2010-06-04 09:30:24
You guys rock. Sometimes you have to go with your gut, better to come home safe and uninjured and then try again later. Gerlinde, amazing climbing! I would have felt too intimidated to climb UP that thing, let alone ski down it!


telerina13

You can do it!     2010-06-04 13:02:38
Matt:Thanks for TR and an amazing journey.

Chris: I never looked down and now I know why. I get dizzy looking at the climbing pic on my PC. I would love to ski Evans but on a powder day. The sound of Matt‘s skis going over the edge was a bit nerve wrecking. Looking forward to many more days in the mountains!


Beachrodney

Solid Trip!     2010-06-05 07:52:35
Wat to get-er-done! Do you think that face will still be good for climbing in a week?


pioletski


Thanks!     2010-06-05 11:27:33
Beachrodney: Yes, the climbing should still be good as long as you‘re ok with a few mixte moves. Unfortunately the skiing is just about done.


lordhelmut


Thin     2010-06-07 11:23:57
You are right Matt, those are damn thin.

FYI, we had a quick chat yesterday on Ice Mtn, I had no idea you guys were up there and having never met you in person, I couldn‘t recognize you (and Ben) from afar. I was the guy talking to Frank apparently for a bit and then you said hey and then you guys skied down. Wish I knew it was you guys, much thinner conditions there than July of last year, pretty nutz. Ben informed me of all of this over the phone last night by the way.



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