I'm writing this brief report while sipping coffee in downtown Salida on a bluebird day. After posting a request for partners last week, Lance contacted me to join and we met up to tackle this fun route.
We departed the Blank TH at 5:15am under calm conditions, but with the peak partially cloud covered. Road to the TH was a pleasure to drive - no mud, snow, or 4wheeling. We packed tennis shoes for the first mile approach and then put the skis on around 11k ft.
no snow down low
Once in the main gully, the skin up was pretty smooth moving over on consolidated snow. Kick stepping in the steeper sections was a little tough in some sections with newly deposited snow -- a ton of snow being transplanted all around the mountain. I was definitely leery of wind loading.
There were a healthy number of climbers on the Peak yesterday and everyone did a great job sticking it out thru the crazy winds. We summited at Noon (? - I think?) 100% 'in' ski from the summit right now, providing 3,000ft of nice skiing. Down around 12,500ft, things started getting soupy (12:30pm). Arrived back at the car after a leisurely hike out at 3:30pm. Good times.
another climber heading up