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 Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
 Post Date:  05/18/2011 Modified: 05/27/2014
 Date Climbed:   05/17/2011
 Posted By:  BillMiddlebrook

 Y Couloir    

YUP, another Y Couloir TR!!!

Conditions in the Y Couloir were pretty good yesterday so I thought it might help to post this extended conditions report...

Started up the road at 9am and after pulling a Forest Service truck out of the ditch near 12,000', I finally got to the summit and started my solo ski at 10:45. The couloir had a few inches of fresh powder deposited over the weekend and it hadn't crusted over due to cool, cloudy conditions. Not bad for Mid-May! While the ski was pretty mellow, I found some spicy climbing on my ascent through the (climber-left side) cliff bands.

Route: Pikes Peak, "Y Couloir" east branch
Ski Rating: Advanced, D12 / R2 / II
Climb Rating: Steep snow, class 3 scrambling required
Ski Vertical: 1,900'
Re-climb time: 3 hours (yup, I'm slow)
Junked cars on route: 2

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The north face from Woodland Park


Ski Descent


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Top of the east branch

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Dropping in

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A Mid-May powder day

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Approaching the cliff bands

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The cliff bands (13,600') at the intersection of east and west Y branches. The wrecked car is center.


Lordhelmet mentioned it was easiest to exit left at the car and climb over to the west branch to continue the ski. Currently, this is the easiest way to bypass the cliffs.
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Exiting left over the rocks. The car is on the lower right.

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An easy, exposed scramble over the rocks separating the east and west branches

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Looking up the west branch after getting back on skis

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A look back at the ski from the cross-over

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Negotiating some rocks

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Another look at the continuous snow used to bypass the cliffs

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Back in the main couloir

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After passing the narrow section, below the cliff bands

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Heading to the bottom of the snow

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The OTHER wrecked car, at 12,200'



Climb


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A look up from 12,300', the Railroad Couloir angles up to the left

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Booting back up

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Back in the Y

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Another look down

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Back to the narrow section, below the cliff bands

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Approaching the cliff bands

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A look down as I was climbing up through the cliffs on the climber-left side

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Near the wrecked car, looking over the cliffs

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Back near the top



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 

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