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ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

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

Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby MonGoose » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:14 pm

Fantastic! With the improvement in cameras and video capabilities, I think we'll get to see a lot more footage of this project.

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Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby Lemmiwinks » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:28 pm

It amazes me how someone can ski from the summits of the San Juan Centennials (Vestal, Jagged, Teakettle, etc). Very impressive. Best of luck to them.

Can someone who does more BC skiing than I do enlighten me on just how difficult these peaks are to ski? Are there popular lines on these peaks?
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Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby bergsteigen » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:40 pm

I'm excited for more beta on what some of these peaks are like to ski. Some will be worth it, others not so much.

Lemmiwinks wrote:Can someone who does more BC skiing than I do enlighten me on just how difficult these peaks are to ski? Are there popular lines on these peaks?


I think for some of the peaks, skiing them will be easier than walking down loose scree or talus. Gladstone is NOT appealing to me in summer dry conditions. Some of the peaks do have popular lines with locals (like in Yankee Boy Basin), but I think many will be unexplored terrain. As I am getting more into skiing peaks, I'm finding many are worth the extra effort of hauling skis and gear up. I will be sad when the snow melts.
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Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby lordhelmut » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:11 pm

Lemmiwinks wrote:It amazes me how someone can ski from the summits of the San Juan Centennials (Vestal, Jagged, Teakettle, etc). Very impressive. Best of luck to them.

Can someone who does more BC skiing than I do enlighten me on just how difficult these peaks are to ski? Are there popular lines on these peaks?


Similar to Wetterhorn - Teakettle and Jagged don't have continuous snow from the summit down the intended route. I think Vestal does off the backside. Teakettle might have continuous snow in the class 5 tower section, in the gully, but thats 80-90 degrees so unless you belay yourself with skis on your feet, you can't really perform a summit descent - its physically impossible.

Needless to say, if you've followed Ted's blog, you would soon find out the majority of the top 100 are skiable and a lot of them more fun than one would think. They have skied some routes on peaks you would've never thought about. The 13er portion of the Centennials seem more reasonable than the 14ers - with less Capitol-esque suicidal descents. Thunder Pyramid's East Face looks like something out of the Chugach and routes on Hope, Cronin, Edwards, Buckskin, Hagerman, Vermillion, Cathedral, Ouray, Ice, Oklahoma, Half, Atlantic, Pacific and Lackawanna (to name a few) all have noteworthy ski routes that are doable for anyone with the ability to link up jump turns with confidence. Of course, there is more to skiing backcountry than the ability to ski well. A lot of meticulous planning, waiting, luck with weather, snowpack and aligning schedules with partners all has to fall into play. Those tangibles are usually the crux of pulling off a successful ski descent and Davenport and his cronies seem to nail these more times than not (more like ALL the time - 15 days of bluebird in the PNW in May = not common).

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Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby benners » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:16 pm

Lemmiwinks wrote:It amazes me how someone can ski from the summits of the San Juan Centennials (Vestal, Jagged, Teakettle, etc). Very impressive. Best of luck to them.

Can someone who does more BC skiing than I do enlighten me on just how difficult these peaks are to ski? Are there popular lines on these peaks?

Vestal could in theory be skied down the back side (w/o touching the Wham), though there may be other routes off the east side that no one's explored. To ski the standard route would be a long approach and a big risk that it wasn't in, but knowing how Davenport times his descents (and has access to planes and stuff) he'll probably get it in powder. Jagged, Teakettle, and very likely Dallas are next to impossible to ski off the summit of. He's already done Teakettle and they skied from the base of the summit block, so I guess those three would get ticked off as "summit" descents in the same way Wetterhorn and Sunlight typically are.

To answer the second question, it seems to me like the 14ers are split into categories of easy, moderate, difficult, and dump-yer-pants, whereas a majority of the Centennials fall into just the easy and moderate categories. There aren't any extremely dangerous descents that would cause one to dump themselves that I can think of, assuming no one's going to attempt skiing off of Jagged or Dallas' summit. The upper southeast face on Dallas would get steep I'd imagine, but it's short. Cathedral is steep, but more than attainable for an advanced BC skier. Thunder Pyramid's east face is extreme, but the west side would probably be considered moderate. The Fridge on Ice would be considered difficult by most. Pigeon and Turret would have classic lines on them that'd be more fun than freaky I'd imagine. Vestal's back side wouldn't be incredibly challenging, it'd just be a long approach. Hope, Clinton, Horseshoe, Vermillion, Jupiter, Rio Grande Pyramid, Grizzly A, Ouray, Cronin, Lackawanna, HCR, Atlantic, Pacific, and Fletcher all have classic, moderately difficult couloirs on them that are climbable and skiable by most experienced parties. All in all I'd have to think the Centennial 13ers are harder to climb but easier to ski than the 14ers, again assuming people are skiing from below the class 5 sections.

EDIT: Looks like helmut beat me to it but we more or less said the same thing :-D.

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Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby Floyd » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:45 pm

benners wrote:Vestal could in theory be skied down the back side (w/o touching the Wham)


I think you should just put a ski jump at the end of the Wham and use the decent as a ramp. I wonder how far that would throw a person? Handies?
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Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby Elliot » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:51 pm

bergsteigen wrote: I think for some of the peaks, skiing them will be easier than walking down loose scree or talus. Gladstone is NOT appealing to me in summer dry conditions. Some of the peaks do have popular lines with locals (like in Yankee Boy Basin), but I think many will be unexplored terrain. As I am getting more into skiing peaks, I'm finding many are worth the extra effort of hauling skis and gear up. I will be sad when the snow melts.



90% of the time skiing is easier than walking down. and 90% of the cents get skied...not a lot of unexplored/first descent skiing ont the centenial 13ers. Maybe some first blogged descents. The centenial 13ers as a whole offer very good ski descents. I think the quality of descents from a conditions and aesthetics standpoint that that Davenport has accomplished this season surpasses his 14ers project by far.

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Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby benners » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:51 am

Elliot wrote:90% of the cents get skied...not a lot of unexplored/first descent skiing ont the centenial 13ers. Maybe some first blogged descents.

For sure. I know this has been said numerous times on this forum, but just because it isn't online doesn't mean it aint getting done. Last season when Brian and I were discussing skiing some of the YBB peaks, we noted there was zero info online on several of them, particularly Teakettle. I asked a local guide in Ridgeway if she knew anyone who had skied that stuff and she replied, "oh certainly, I ski those peaks almost every season." Locals down there apparently attempt to traverse the entire basin using high bivies, skiing from peak to peak all the way around in as little time as possible. So just goes to show even the Centennials that have little info on them likely get skied every so often. Some get skied all the time. There are two worlds: the internet bloggers and the non-internet bloggers, and I get a sense that the non-blogging crowd is more accomplished than people realize.

I can't imagine there are that many people out there who have skied Pigeon, Turret, Jagged, or Vestal, but that's because in the absence of chasing a list it doesn't make much sense to try to ski them.
Last edited by benners on Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby lordhelmut » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:52 am

Floyd wrote:
benners wrote:Vestal could in theory be skied down the back side (w/o touching the Wham)


I think you should just put a ski jump at the end of the Wham and use the decent as a ramp. I wonder how far that would throw a person? Handies?


You would end up in Grand Junction Floyd....

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Re: ESPN Front Page, Centennial Ski Project

Postby CarpeDM » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:12 am

benners wrote:There are two worlds: the internet bloggers and the non-internet bloggers, and I get a sense that the non-blogging crowd is more accomplished than people realize.


I've been thinking along these lines recently. Was just (re)watching the movie The Right Stuff. Brings to mind the way the movie portrays Yeager.

Great quote in the signature, too, benners.
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