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North Face Couloirs Missouri Mountain Next Week

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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North Face Couloirs Missouri Mountain Next Week

Postby bigmtnmike » Fri May 03, 2013 11:10 pm

Has anyone been up there lately? Are the couloirs filled in enough to justify hiking this route? Any information is much appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: North Face Couloirs Missouri Mountain Next Week

Postby CO Native » Sat May 04, 2013 8:06 am

I have not been up there but can tell you that the Sawatch Mountains are running nearly normal snowpack which means those couloirs will be filled in. There are several options of couloirs to pick from on the North Face too and you get plenty of chance to scope them out as you approach so you can pick the one you like best. The question right now is how well consolidated the snow is in the couloirs. The forecast is promising for the snow in the couloirs to be consolidated pretty well by then. As the days get warmer, make sure you get a very early start so you can be done with the steep snow before it warms up and softens.
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Re: North Face Couloirs Missouri Mountain Next Week

Postby bigmtnmike » Sat May 04, 2013 10:28 am

Thanks CO Native. I have a few more questions:

1.) Does anyone know how steep the main couloir is? (In terms of degrees)
2.) Is there a way to skirt around the couloirs and hike the ridge?
3.) Will I need crampons to hike the couloir?
4.) Will I need snowshoes in the afternoon to avoid post-holing my way back to the TH?

Finally, if anyone is interested in skiing/snowboarding this line, please let me know, I'd love to have a few more partners to do this with.

Thanks in advance for all the info! I love this forum!

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Re: North Face Couloirs Missouri Mountain Next Week

Postby clemsonmtneer » Sat May 04, 2013 11:52 am

Ahh I've been wanting to get back up there to ski that face after a failed attempt last year, but can't until I'm finished with school on the 15th. If you postpone till later in the month for whatever reason, let me know.

Was up there last year but had to turn back due to an unstable snowpack, so can answer some of your questions... I don't know the exact slope angle, but it's in the low 40's. You can avoid climbing the main couloirs and hike the ridge, but you'll still be climbing on snow to get to the ridge. So yes, you'll want crampons to climb the couloir (want to climb the couloir early enough before it warms and softens too much)... as for snowshoes, if you're going to be snowboarding, I'd ditch the snowshoes since you'd hopefully be able to ride your board the whole way down until you hit snowline. But if you're not snowboarding and just climbing, then yeah you'll probably want snowshoes for the hike out. I'm guessing the first part of the hiking trail is dry by now, but that's pure speculation as I haven't been in the area at all lately.

Hope that helps.

Re: North Face Couloirs Missouri Mountain Next Week

Postby Climbdent » Sat May 04, 2013 8:27 pm

1.) Does anyone know how steep the main couloir is? (In terms of degrees) Hmm, I have never measured but very similar to dead dog - so high 30's and maybe a short section of low 40's. The approach makes the couloir look steeper but not too bad once you are on the route.

2.) Is there a way to skirt around the couloirs and hike the ridge? The Std route which has a nice trail if not snow covered goes up the ridge and onto the northern ridge. The east ridge is crappy and requires downclimbing with loose exposed class 5 climb climbing. You can also approach from the west on the other Std route. The southern face is actually a sporty climb with a couple of easy mixed sections - M1/2.

3.) Will I need crampons to hike the couloir? I would say yes unless the conditions are perfect the entire couloir (not likely).

4.) Will I need snowshoes in the afternoon to avoid post-holing my way back to the TH? I didn't bother bringing them but did have to do some postholing at the end of the day.

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