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Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby AW007 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:42 pm

Judging by the conditions of the ski resorts along the I-70 corridor, this may seem like a very optimistic question, but has anyone found a skiable line on a 14er yet this winter? I have a little bit of time off coming up, so would entertain the thought of traveling to any 14er in Colorado in order to get a few turns in. Obviously the avi conditions, weather, etc would play a big part in the decision too – but at this point I’m really just wondering if there’s anything out there worth the trip yet? Thank you in advance for any input!

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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby MuchosPixels » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:06 pm

I would also like to get some info!

But, having skied in the area of i70 for two weeks (dec.26-jan9) I just wouldn't trust the snowpack. Its thin and weak in most places I poked. There were long stretches of cold weather and no snow with a few wind events. I saw a lot of slides on the Gore range from a distance. Think thin and brittle snowpack. The aspects that hold the most snow are also the most dangerous (NE-E).

I did ski on the Steamboat Backcountry and it was totally different. There was 2-3 TIMES the amount snow that Summit/Eagle County has and it had settled nicely (jan2).

So, depending on where you go in Co. you might find a good amount of snow or very little. Conditions are extremely dependent on the location hence the need for specific information.

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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby Gueza » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:44 pm

Quandary is the only one I can think of as far as coverage and avy conditions go.

Check out Taylorz's TR of Silverheels. Images 3 and 4 have Quandary in the background showing decent coverage (when compared to last season).


http://14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13227


Worth the trip? IMO I would say yes if you are looking to get one of those skier logos and a snowflake next to Quandary on your peak list and No if you are looking to get some "good turns" in.
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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby nkan02 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:53 am

Does anybody know if anything is skiable on Elbert right now? All most recent updates were without pix.

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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby RobertPetrowsky » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:34 am

It looks pretty thin right now. I suppose you could link turns in the trees but seriously doubt anything above is in.

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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby BVGaper » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:06 am

Nothing yet in the lower Sawatch. It's bony as crap out there.
"It'll go. It's in."

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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby GregMiller » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:28 am

How about any 13ers? (yeah, yeah, I know, 14ers.com and all that, I just want to get started on this ski mountaineering thing.)
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been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby bergsteigen » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:36 pm

farcedude wrote:How about any 13ers? (yeah, yeah, I know, 14ers.com and all that, I just want to get started on this ski mountaineering thing.)


Waiting is the hardest part of this sport. Especially the first year or so. The grand majority of my ski mountaineering "failures" are in January and February. Not enough snow, bad weather/conditions/light etc. Wait till (late) March to "start" peak skiing, do regular BC/resort till then. Patience! Or you'll likely get this ](*,)
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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:34 pm

James Peak from st.mary's is always a good option for a miserable bullet proof ski and relatively safe winter descent. I seem to do that once a year just to scratch the itch, but honestly you are almost always better waiting. Over the past 13 years I think I've done around 60 or so peak descents and only 4 or 5 of those were during "winter" months and they all basically sucked.

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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby Elliot » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:41 pm

Quandary was skiable a couple weeks ago, the 3rd south line east of the summit(lookers right of the line Dav skied during his 14ers project) looks like it has a choke/downclimb at the exit but one can ski around it. conditions were variable with the best conditions being consistant hardslab. Fun to get on the steeps in Jan though.

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Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby Carl » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:01 pm

SchralpTheGnar wrote:Over the past 13 years I think I've done around 60 or so peak descents and only 4 or 5 of those were during "winter" months and they all basically sucked.


Same here. And the ones in calendar winter that didn't suck were skied in March. To get the real fun lines in Colorado in calendar winter requires skill and a little luck (e.g. Dav skied Crestone Needle on a whim late on a January afternoon). I don't mean to foreclose on the thread though, in an average year some lines on Sherman, Bross, Belford, Elbert, etc. would be in right now.

Re: Any skiable 14ers yet? Anywhere?

Postby bergsteigen » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:19 pm

SchralpTheGnar wrote:James Peak from st.mary's is always a good option for a miserable bullet proof ski and relatively safe winter descent. I seem to do that once a year just to scratch the itch, but honestly you are almost always better waiting. Over the past 13 years I think I've done around 60 or so peak descents and only 4 or 5 of those were during "winter" months and they all basically sucked.


I just ran my percentages for winter/non-winter. 60% success in "calendar winter", 88% in spring (out of 26 total peak descents, 10 winter). With half of those calendar winter successes being mid march.

So while "possible", you have to gauge your level of tolerance to turning around, or having a difficult/unpleasant ski.
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games."
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