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Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby higherhigher » Wed May 20, 2009 4:54 pm

I've been a summer devotee of the 14ers and now am ready to ski a few of them as the snow ripens and the snowpack consolidates. I've been honing my skills in RMNP, e.g., Bear Lake area, and am wondering if anyone can suggest a few easier-to-ski 14ers (Humboldt?) that would likely be in decent condition in the coming weeks. I'd welcome a partner or two for anyone interested in this endeavor. Thanks!

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Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby Jcwhite » Wed May 20, 2009 5:08 pm

higherhigher wrote:I've been a summer devotee of the 14ers and now am ready to ski a few of them as the snow ripens and the snowpack consolidates. I've been honing my skills in RMNP, e.g., Bear Lake area, and am wondering if anyone can suggest a few easier-to-ski 14ers (Humboldt?) that would likely be in decent condition in the coming weeks. I'd welcome a partner or two for anyone interested in this endeavor. Thanks!


I'd be pretty surprised if Humbolt is still in. Democrat maybe? Quandary? Sherman?
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW! WHAT A RIDE."- Hunter S Thompson

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Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby higherhigher » Wed May 20, 2009 5:12 pm

I suppose the Sangres don't hold snow for long. I read your April report from Humboldt. Seems like Quandary would be a pretty good, straightforward bet.

Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby jimlup » Wed May 20, 2009 8:25 pm

I ran in to a couple of guys on Quandary last February who didn't have a great idea of what they were doing but they appeared perfectly safe coming down the standard route on skies. The guy I talked to skied down to me and then fell down 'cause he didn't really know how to stop with a pack on. His buddy essentially did the same. Neither made the summit despite moderately good weather. Based on that observation, I'd say Quandary would be a pretty safe starter mountain - it just might not offer enough challenge to make it worth the work. I guess I'm saying that I don't think they learned very much but they did indeed "ski a 14er".

On the other hand, the Cristo Couloir might offer a good challenge right now. Don't know about snow conditions though.
"Just because you have the gear does not mean that you are a Mountaineer!" My daughter's cynical comment about my hobby...

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Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby bckcntryskr » Wed May 20, 2009 10:23 pm

Princeton
Quandary, Democrat
Did I mention that "I hate postholing"

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Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby Geof3 » Thu May 21, 2009 12:26 am

I'm not sure I'd call any 14er decents beginner. Rookie maybe, but not beginner. If you are looking for summit decents, Quandry's east face is a good line, but depends on snow conditions. The Cristo is a great line, but is easy to underestimate. It's a big line.

Bross has the Dolly Varden gully, that that doesn't go quite to the top, but it is excellent training and is a big line that isn't too serious for a "beginning" decent. If you fall, you won't die. A fall on most fourteener routes can be fatal, or at least very serious.

Get after it though. The snow seems to be melting fast this year (anybody else notice this?) Seems the primo season is coming early and will be somewhat short.

Another great place to hone some skills is Pikes Peak, plenty of steep, big lines to play on with very easy access. But as I said, snow seems to be going fast...
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Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby Jcwhite » Thu May 21, 2009 7:59 am

Geof3 wrote:Get after it though. The snow seems to be melting fast this year (anybody else notice this?) Seems the primo season is coming early and will be somewhat short


Primo season was about a month ago.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW! WHAT A RIDE."- Hunter S Thompson

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Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby audiotom » Sun May 24, 2009 3:03 pm

would quandry still be in June 5th?
quite the quandry for me
as I'd love to downhill it

would have to rent gear in Denver area
my old k2's and raichle's are too much to lug from NOLA
any suggestions?

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Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby NYRyan » Sun May 24, 2009 7:22 pm

I skied the box creek chutes on Elbert's east slopes last weekend and they were great. There was still a good amount of snow up there.
Thank you Bill M for this great site.

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Re: Beginner 14er Ski Descents

Postby Jcwhite » Tue May 26, 2009 4:26 pm

audiotom wrote:would quandry still be in June 5th?
quite the quandry for me
as I'd love to downhill it

would have to rent gear in Denver area
my old k2's and raichle's are too much to lug from NOLA
any suggestions?



Doubtful...at least not fully. I'm sure you could ski some of it.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW! WHAT A RIDE."- Hunter S Thompson

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