Conundrum Couloir

Colorado peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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CaptCO
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by CaptCO » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:43 pm

JacobW wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:40 pm
Skied Conundrum Couloir and East Face of Castle on Saturday morning. Here's a couple beta shots of Conundrum.

IMG_5940.jpg
IMG_6011.JPG
Wow that looks ideal, congrats on a succesful trip :bicep:
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by jmanner » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:52 am

SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
People, you are overanalyzing everything. You don't need to be a good or even competent skier to ski the 14ers. It's all in your head. Dirty little secret - if you know how to jumpturn, you don't need to know how to ski.
Maybe if youre a Russian, but I don’t agree. That kind of statement is going to get someone hurt or worse. Perhaps my standard for skiing well is higher for myself, but of the stuff I’ve skied above 12,000’ being able to ski competently has been quite important. Most people I know that can ski groomers well aren’t able to master the jump turn in a way that is safe on 45+ snow. In addition if the snow is harder at all a jump turn is the last thing you want to be doing, keeping your edges engaged is super important on steep hard snow. Anyway...

As to the “D Rating” it’s pretty useless to me these days but when I was first starting to ski if mountains it was useful for comparisons sake.
A man has got to know his limitations.-Dr. Jonathan Hemlock or Harry Callahan or something F' it: http://youtu.be/lpzqQst-Sg8

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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by SnowAlien » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:31 pm

jmanner wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:52 am
SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
People, you are overanalyzing everything. You don't need to be a good or even competent skier to ski the 14ers. It's all in your head. Dirty little secret - if you know how to jumpturn, you don't need to know how to ski.
of the stuff I’ve skied above 12,000’ being able to ski competently has been quite important. Most people I know that can ski groomers well aren’t able to master the jump turn in a way that is safe on 45+ snow.
First of all, it was tongue in cheek, but not really. I'll refer you to Jorts comment, a perfect demonstration that the jump turns can mask a lack of proper ski technique, which is only becomes obvious on green/blue terrain.
If you recall John Kedrowski was able to ski most of the 14ers, and I know several people of even lesser skill who are planning to do just that. I am not sure if sliding, cartweeling, stepping down on skis or snowboard and falling through 45+ degree cruxes in between jumpturns is considered skiing, but it's a technicality if they can do it from the summit and adhere to 1k ft rule :-k
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by jmanner » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:37 pm

SnowAlien wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:31 pm
jmanner wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:52 am
SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
People, you are overanalyzing everything. You don't need to be a good or even competent skier to ski the 14ers. It's all in your head. Dirty little secret - if you know how to jumpturn, you don't need to know how to ski.
of the stuff I’ve skied above 12,000’ being able to ski competently has been quite important. Most people I know that can ski groomers well aren’t able to master the jump turn in a way that is safe on 45+ snow.
First of all, it was tongue in cheek, but not really. I'll refer you to Jorts comment, a perfect demonstration that the jump turns can mask a lack of proper ski technique, which is only becomes obvious on green/blue terrain.
If you recall John Kedrowski was able to ski most of the 14ers, and I know several people of even lesser skill who are planning to do just that. I am not sure if sliding, cartweeling, stepping down on skis or snowboard and falling through 45+ degree cruxes in between jumpturns is considered skiing, but it's a technicality if they can do it from the summit and adhere to 1k ft rule :-k
Fair enough, fwiw Bean used a different but equally poor skier as an example when I brought this up with him.
A man has got to know his limitations.-Dr. Jonathan Hemlock or Harry Callahan or something F' it: http://youtu.be/lpzqQst-Sg8

'Life is too short to ski groomers'

"That man's only desire was to stand, once only, on the summit of that glorious wedge of rock...I think anyone who loves the mountains as much as that can claim to be a mountaineer, too."-Hermann Buhl, Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by mbourget » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:31 pm

SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
You don't need to be a good or even competent skier
oh thank god
Those scientists better check their hypotenuses.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by Jorts » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:45 pm

jmanner wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:52 am
SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
People, you are overanalyzing everything. You don't need to be a good or even competent skier to ski the 14ers. It's all in your head. Dirty little secret - if you know how to jumpturn, you don't need to know how to ski.
Maybe if youre a Russian, but I don’t agree. That kind of statement is going to get someone hurt or worse. Perhaps my standard for skiing well is higher for myself, but of the stuff I’ve skied above 12,000’ being able to ski competently has been quite important. Most people I know that can ski groomers well aren’t able to master the jump turn in a way that is safe on 45+ snow. In addition if the snow is harder at all a jump turn is the last thing you want to be doing, keeping your edges engaged is super important on steep hard snow. Anyway...

As to the “D Rating” it’s pretty useless to me these days but when I was first starting to ski if mountains it was useful for comparisons sake.
Checkmate, comrade?

Even dirtier little secret, being able to execute a proper jump turn is knowing how to ski. The best ski mountaineers can get down anything safely, using a variety of techniques. It will not always be pretty. Sometimes you can Super G 40 deg, sometimes you have to do awkward jump turns through and back out of unexpected breakable crust on low angle lines. If I only skied conditions that enabled the high standard of skiing you allude to all the time than I would hardly ever ski above treeline.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by BillMiddlebrook » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:55 pm

jmanner wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:37 pm
SnowAlien wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:31 pm
jmanner wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:52 am

of the stuff I’ve skied above 12,000’ being able to ski competently has been quite important. Most people I know that can ski groomers well aren’t able to master the jump turn in a way that is safe on 45+ snow.
First of all, it was tongue in cheek, but not really. I'll refer you to Jorts comment, a perfect demonstration that the jump turns can mask a lack of proper ski technique, which is only becomes obvious on green/blue terrain.
If you recall John Kedrowski was able to ski most of the 14ers, and I know several people of even lesser skill who are planning to do just that. I am not sure if sliding, cartweeling, stepping down on skis or snowboard and falling through 45+ degree cruxes in between jumpturns is considered skiing, but it's a technicality if they can do it from the summit and adhere to 1k ft rule :-k
Fair enough, fwiw Bean used a different but equally poor skier as an example when I brought this up with him.
It helps to be both a very competent skier and master of the jump turn on steep terrain. The last thing you want on a big mountain line is not being confident in your ability to safely and effectively ski the line. When you are looking down that thing, you should be thinking about the hazards, run-out, safe zones, photo position zones :) , etc., not focusing on "How am I going to make a turn above this?"

Of course not everyone who skis peaks begins doing so at an uber-high level but you should at least be competent enough to ski the line you choose.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by bergsteigen » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:06 pm

mbourget wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:31 pm
SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
You don't need to be a good or even competent skier
oh thank god
Well sheeeeiiiite, why am I even worrying about Landry and Capitol then?!?
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by SnowAlien » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:16 pm

bergsteigen wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:06 pm
mbourget wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:31 pm
SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
You don't need to be a good or even competent skier
oh thank god
Well sheeeeiiiite, why am I even worrying about Landry and Capitol then?!?
Exactly. As long as you know how to snowplow, it's all good 😇
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by JacobW » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:02 am

SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
People, you are overanalyzing everything. You don't need to be a good or even competent skier to ski the 14ers. It's all in your head. Dirty little secret - if you know how to jumpturn, you don't need to know how to ski.
Conundrum Couloir is also only ~500', you could just penguin slide down it and probably keep your teeth at the bottom.
Last edited by JacobW on Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by spoony » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:43 am

This discussion sort of reminds of a conversation I head when the "first descent" of K2 was making the rounds a while back. I told my co-worker that I thought it was pretty mind blowing. He watched the video and was like, "Meh. He wasn't really skiing, just sidestepping down."

Also, I learned the jump turn by watching Blizzard of Ahhs (hip smears are sweet!). But then I watched the effortless move that is a jump turn by Vivian Bruchez and now I am totally unsure of my own form.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by lodgling » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:44 am

I recall being pretty gripped getting from the summit into the couloir. Not exactly “skiing,” but awkward no fall movement with skis on feet and strangely shaped snow and rock under ski.
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