Peak(s):  Irving Pk  -  13,218 feet
Post Date:  05/14/2011
Date Climbed:   04/01/2011
Posted By:  Manky


 April Fools   

After a quick check of the weekend weather, a hasty plan was hatched to ditch work on Friday and head up Thursday after work. This would put us in the prime weather window on Friday for skiing the peak. As is always customary, dinner and vitamin water was provided by La Comida Mexicana at the Vallecito Market. Soon after, we find ourselves just beyond the Vallecito trailhead.

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Near trailhead


The first bridge is a good stopping point for a snack, headlamp retrieval and finally we could put on our skis and skins.

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First bridge


Before we know it, darkness is upon us.

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Dark


Finally at about 11 p.m. we reach our food cache and gather water for the trip tomorrow. This is an excellent way to fill your ski boots up with water!

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H20


A short night with a fairly early start greets us with a smile.

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Good morning

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Echo and neighbors

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Yes


After a brutal assault of the west facing trees below Mt. Irving, we finally start to get high enough to get a view. Some hiking, some skinning and some cussing leads to a break well below Irving where our motivation is feeling quite low due to poor snow conditions and we consider calling it quits.

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Up and up

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Variable conditions


We finally motivate and decide to give it whirl and hopefully the snow will cooperate with us. We had spied a nice west facing couloir last year and decided to give it a look. After we got up close to it, we noticed a large cliff blocking access to the couloir proper-doh!

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Couloir of denial


After a quick consult of the map, the decision was to explore our last option with the thin coverage we were experiencing in the San Juans-the north face. On the map, there appeared to be a nice line right from the summit. A traverse through more hideous trees finally spits us out onto a large apron of quality snow.

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The goods

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Upper Vallecito Creek


We skin as far as we can until the snow angle and texture becomes to difficult to skin. Boot em up.

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Boot em


There was a really nice looking shot off of N. Irving, but we came for the big brother. Finally on the last part of the ridge.

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Final ridge

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Top is near


The summit was bigger and flatter than I thought it would be.

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Summit



Mt. Oso and panoramic of the Juans.

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Mt. Oso

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The Juans


Time to ski!

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Would K2 please sponsor me??

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Below the summit




After some variable slab and windcrust off the top, the couloir proper held excellent spring corn.

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Good corn



The descent was about 4,000 feet from summit to Vallecito Creek. The last 600 feet were rotten, punchy corn that gave the legs a good workout. It was very hot in the valley floor, and finally we found ourselves back at home.

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Home sweet home

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Time for bed...

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Drained


As always, an excellent time was had. Glad we decided not to throw in the towel. Here is a little video Andy made of our exit.




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