I finally figured out how to shrink pics in order to post and with the recent TR from Crestone up, I thought it would be interesting to do a snow conditions comparison. So here goes my first TR, bear with me please:
A friend and I skied Little Bear on May 23, 2010 and I got an itch to go for at least Crestone Peak based upon the following pic I snapped with my phone from the LB summit:
Crestones still looking plastered with the great S facing snows of spring 2010
Clearly, the long Memorial Day weekend demanded a slog. And my new "light and fast" (and cheap) BD Voodoo setup demanded a test run. It was either going to be a return to S. Colony or the reportedly snirty Holy Cross. Crestone it is then. Now, who to talk into walking the S. Colony road with heavy packs? Matt and Tanya are usually game for a suffer fest.
With the road mostly dry up to the old summer trailhead, that's what we got.
We dug a camp and kitchen just below S. Colony lake. It got cold fast and we retired to the tents with a plan to ski the Peak on Sunday and do recon for a possible Needle ski on Monday. The Brokenhand Peak line (double dog leg) was still and was plan B for Monday.
A predawn start got us on the way up to Broken Hand Pass as the sun rose.
The final 100ft or so were dry and we turned the corner to find out the Needle would probably not be in the plans. We chattered down to the lake and were able to ski to the bottom of the Red Gully without removing the skis. My first "turns" ever on my new ski setup couldn't really be considered turns -- I guess those will need to wait for the supposedly 50+ degree turns from the summit.
Passing the lake an turning the corner, we found the route was still in and discussed whether to stick to the snow or mix it up. Snow was the call.
Tanya sprinted up the gully and found the shoulder to be an accomodating rest stop.
Having lost a buckle on Little Bear the week before, I readied myself for possibly the FIRST EVER "two-buckle tele descent on the day before a national holiday." In any event, I got my summit ski with some creativity.
While I continued with the foolishness that accompanies "ethics" these days, Matt and Tanya got ready for their ski.
Time for ski?
I know, no one cares. But, the new skis turned out to in fact, turn. Which was nice.
Matt finishing up in the apron.
The skins went back on
and we made quick work of the trip back over Broken Hand, excited to ski from the pass back to camp and catching one last glimpse of the marks we left up high on the Peak.
On Saturday we had left a few beers down at snowline and this became a popular topic as we discussed our options. Move camp to beer line? But the lines on Brokenhand Peak just above were tempting. We'd get a night of sleep and see if those lines had the same intrigue in the morning. In the end, getting home at a reasonable hour prevailed. On Monday we warmed up in the sun over breakfast and then packed up camp.
We reached the beer stash at about 10:30am to find it still intact.
After some beer to take the edge off, we shouldered the heavy packs again and began the trudge back to the car.
Is this still fun?
All in all, a great trip. Back again next year for the Needle? Nope. 2012?? Where to test drive new skis next??