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San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:01 am

If you were going to ski either San Luis or Ellingwood peak next weekend which one do you think would be the better choice. Are either of them even skiable?

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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby ap snow » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:56 pm

I would be willing to do either of them and I would assume both are in condition. Skied Columbia yesterday and the snow is certainly melting fast. I think we met on Maroon a few years back?

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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:47 pm

ap let me know what you're thinking.

Does anyone else know how close you can get up to the Equity Mine Trailhead right now? I saw some TR's from this time last year and it looks like you can park around 11,000 on that road this time of year, but is that the case this year?

Thanks!

Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby Kirk Mallory » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:57 pm

As of March 10th, the road was plowed to the Equity Mine at about 11000 feet.

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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby sgladbach » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:13 pm

I was on San Luis and Stewart last Wednesday. The road is open to the mine and a groomed smowmobile track goes to San Luis Pass and behind point 12560'. From there, a descent down the ridge left of the SW arm of Spring Creek will reveal a fantastic trench (built 3 days before by Ken, Jean, Terri and John Kirk) to its intersection with the SE Fork of Spring Creek at 11,000'.

The former party used a 16 hour day hike to nab San Luis. I camped at this confluence and used a long second day to climb San Luis, Baldy Alto, Stewart and return over the same. I was able to hike out that afternoon.

I searched the 14ers.com TR archive, but couldn't find this map (though several TRs report the route). It is in Dawson's book and there is a good TR over on 14erworld from 3/10 (if you have access.)

EDIT: It was Kirk Mallory, not John Kirk that helpled Ken, Jean, and Terri lay in the trench which I so mailiciously poached. (I forgave myself since Ken called me on the phone to tell me the trench was there. I considered it an invitation to hunt his land rather than simple poaching!
Last edited by sgladbach on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby Kirk Mallory » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:28 pm

This was our approximate route, posted by Ken Nolan on Fourteenerworld. We got lucky at the start, since a snow-cat skiing operation was up there laying tracks on various slopes, even up to the saddle we crossed.

SL_RouteMap.jpg
SL_RouteMap.jpg (193.97 KiB) Viewed 448 times


Here's a picture I took from the saddle we crossed before dropping into the Spring Creek drainage. Even though we were going downhill, the trenching was a lot of work! Glad to see someone made good use of our hard work! It was a long but worthy 16.5 hour day.

San Luis from Saddle.jpg
San Luis from Saddle.jpg (255.6 KiB) Viewed 451 times

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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:35 am

Fanstastic beta, very much appreciated, love this place. Do you guys think I can make it up to 11,000 TH by equity mine is a subaru legacy wagon (not outback)? It's a 98 so I don't care if it gets banged around, but would like to avoid high centering. :)

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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby Elliot » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:10 am

Yes the rd is well graded for the large minning trucks

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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby Elliot » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:12 am

You can also typically give the local cat operation $20 and they will bring you to the ridge. Give them a call they are running this weekend

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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:03 am

What ridge is that? What's the distance and vert to there from the TH? Is there a starbucks inside the cat?

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Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby Elliot » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:55 am

The snowcat is janky, it takes you to the saddle pic posted above

Re: San Luis or Ellingwood next weekend?

Postby Kirk Mallory » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:10 pm

The saddle we crossed was about 12340 (on that map), then we dropped to between 11000 & 11100 before climbing up the steep rib. Following our excellent trench back up 1300 vert was easier than creating in on the downhill. The snowcat track was easy walking. But its tracks didn't always make sense - it goes wherever the skiers want to be dropped off. Luckily on that day, it went up to the saddle.

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