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 Peak(s):  Audubon, Mt  -  13,223 feet
 Post Date:  06/08/2010
 Date Climbed:   06/04/2010
 Posted By:  doubleA

 Skiing the Crooked Couloir   

Last Friday we set off to ski the Crooked Couloir on Mt Audubon. We had already been in the area the last week of May to ski Paiute Peak. It was amazing how much snow melted from one week to another.
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Kevin ready for action...
As of June 4th the gate was still closed a couple of miles east of Brainard Lake. We rode bikes to within a quarter mile or so of Mitchell Lake TH. We stashed the bikes and started walking the road.
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As we neared Mitchell Lake it became clear there wasn't a hard freeze the night before. We decided to press on and assess the snow conditions at the base of the couloir. Here are some shots skinning up:
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Sunrise at Mitchell Lake
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We stayed along the south side of Mitchell Lake because the ice is melting fast. Nice looking couloirs on the north west side of the lake. There was a faint ski track down one of them:
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Mt Audubon's south side
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Paiute Peak. Last week's ski descent in red. I think the line is called the Curvaceous Couloir. The west face of Paiute is shear and you get great views of Granby Lake. Fun line to climb and ski.
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Here is our proposed climb up Crooked Couloir (in blue). Depending on conditions and how we felt, the north side of Audubon has two prominent couloirs to ski as well (Coney Couloirs). We wanted to ski one of them and then return to ski down into the Blue Lake area.
Kevin skinning up with Blue Lake behind him:
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Once we were to the bottom of the couloir and started to gear up for the climb we both felt the snow was firm enough for at least a climb- and if things became dicey we would descend the scree to the right or left. We gave it a go.
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Crooked Couloir is steeper than it looks from Blue Lake. Parts of it are probably in the 40 degree range. Very fun climb. We didn't posthole and stayed on the right side of the couloir almost to the top, then we cut right to gain the ridge.
Once on top of the ridge we decided that it would be really stupid to go for the north side. It was 9am and conditions were becoming soft very quickly. We felt there was still a window to ski down what we climbed, but we wanted to get moving fast. We didn't summit, shot a few pics of the surrounding areas then started moving.
Here are the pictures from the ridge below the summit:
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A look towards Toll's north east face.
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Audubon's summit
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Meeker and Longs
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Posing with the summit
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The west Coney Couloir off of the north side. Looked well filled in. Steep at the top but mellowed quickly. We will definitely be back next year to ski this one.
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Kevin dropping in...
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We managed our time well and skied the couloir with decent conditions. The bottom was softening quick since it has melted down to the dust layer. Overall it was a very fun descent bagging about 1600 vertical feet to Blue Lake.
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A look back at our line from Blue Lake.
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We were done by 9:30 am and it was already getting very hot. The trail out was very soft and unpredictable.
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Our playground for the past two weeks! Fun area and will be back next year to ski some other lines in the area.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
Beachrodney

Nice!!!!     2010-06-08 16:14:31
Great lines! Great Photos! Thanks!


kimo

the ipw     2010-06-09 21:56:55
I‘ve been wondering how the conditions are up past Brainard. I‘ve been anticipating getting back up there, Paiute Peak in particular. Thanks for the beta. Nice photos



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