Conundrum Couloir

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

Post by bergsteigen » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:49 pm

AnnaG22 wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:50 pm

I do have a much lower risk tolerance than a lot of folks, but I don't tire of emphasizing that I am a strong in-bounds skier who loves resort expert terrain and 40-50 degree slopes, but I stick firmly to blue-equivalent terrain in the backcountry. Probably max out around D7, which is how bergsteigen ranks Castle's north couloir, and that ski really got my attention...I skied it, but realized I had a lot to improve to feel comfortable on that kind of backcountry terrain. (That said, she says Peak 10 4th of July bowl is D7 too, and I loved that, so maybe skiing in shorts makes me braver).

Long story short: we're all different, but the advice these folks are offering is well-intentioned with experience to back it up. They're not saying you can't do it, they're just offering perspective and insight, for which you did ask.

EDIT: sorry to hear about your shoulder. Once it heals, I promise D2-D4 grade backcountry turns are super fun. It's amazing what unlimited pow can do to compensate for mellower slopes.
Those D ratings are estimated at best. How well a line skis will depend heavily on the snow conditions. Hero corn/powder is very different than punchy, variable, sustrugi or even ice. When I skied Blanca, it was an incredibly technical descent, whereas when BillM skied it in powder, he didn’t encounter the terrain like I did - so our ratings will be very different! An estimated rating is better than nothing IMO.

A skier also needs a lot of confidence to drop a big line deep into the BC. No patroler to haul you out if you fall badly. So how we see a line will vary on our own level of confidence in our abilities. I’ve noted a lot of variability in my own confidence based on what I have been skiing lately. Why I like skiing resort steeps when the BC keeps you on <30 slopes due to bad avy. It can be tough to get out of ones own headspace!

Also last time I checked, there are very few inbounds resort “groomers” that are much over 40deg. Rossi’s at Copper is one of the steepest daily groomers that I know of, and that’s about 40 - hence the US ski team location. So the majority of 40-50 at a resort will typically be natural terrain that can be highly variable, but usually bumped out by the mogul monkeys. No moguls in the BC last time I checked. (BP doesn’t count) Powder skiers on the other hand make better powder bumps.
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jmanner
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by jmanner » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:55 pm

B***** ***** has a special place that gets moguled.
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 bergsteigen » Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:11 pm

jmanner wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:55 pm
B***** ***** has a special place that gets moguled.
Don’t worry, I won’t touch your secret stash of moguls at BG - I’d rather ski powder, like a normal person.
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games." - Ernest Hemingway (or was it Barnaby Conrad?)
Your knees only get so many bumps in life, don't waste them on moguls!
“No athlete is truly tested until they’ve stared an injury in the face and come out on the other side stronger than ever” -anonymous

http://otinasadventures.com @otina
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by BillMiddlebrook » Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:14 pm

Hey!


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And I'm feeling the cold
Thinking that we're getting older and wiser
When we're just getting old”
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by Bean » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:15 pm

I love a good D-measuring contest as much as anyone, but as Otina brought up there are problems with the D rating system. Where we differ is that while she thinks some attempt at estimating is better than nothing, I view it like the avalanche danger rating system 1-5 scale - which means that I value it at approximately zero.

Let's look at some comparisons from the official source. James Peak SE face is a 2, Cristo Couloir is a 10, and Longs N Face, Dead Dog, and the Messner are all 12. Not only is Cristo a *lot* closer to James than to the rest, but calling Longs N face, DD, and the Messner even comparable is ridiculous. Then Dawson says the N face of N Maroon is a 15 and the difficulty for that ski is 100% dependent on snow depth in the same way that Little Bear is - and I really wouldn't put a N Maroon ski (in good conditions) as significantly technically harder than Longs. It's a nice idea but by the time you have to fill in all the details about what gets it to a certain rating like slope angle (and how long until it mellows out), relative width, chokes/cliffs, other objective hazards, and how big of a day it is, you've made the specific number pointless. Even just a picture and approximate slope angle is 100x more useful than some D-measurement, and communicates the information a lot more quickly and clearly.

I guess it gets people who don't really ski discussing ski descent difficulty which can be entertaining, so there's that.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by EatinHardtack » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:58 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:14 pm
Hey!


Is that Highline?
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by aholle88 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:29 pm

Bean wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:15 pm
Even just a picture and approximate slope angle is 100x more useful than some D-measurement, and communicates the information a lot more quickly
I would agree with that 100%. I’ve been riding spring lines on the mountains since 2015 (shorter than many of y’all here, but still quite a while now) and I don’t think I’ve ever looked at the D ratings to judge whether I’d ride something or not. In fact, I don’t even know the D ratings of anything I’ve done. Pictures, other people’s reports, seeing the routes first hand from other peaks or whatever. Then like Otina said, conditions can make an easy route super difficult/terrible and great conditions can make a difficult route.. I won’t say easy, but we’ll go with “less spicy”. In good corn, you make the first turn and there’s no slip, you’re confidence sky rockets. If it’s firm and you get that little slip, you automatically are in survival mode. If there’s a good runout and it’s not narrow, not as big of deal. Narrow or above cliffs, big deal. Some days you just aren’t feeling it either, I’ve climbed up some steeper lines before but I’ve picked something different once I got there for whatever reason (windy, tired, low mojo, iffy firm snow, etc). Depending on your mental state and snow conditions, there are days where a D12 can feel like a D5 or vice versa. Just like any sport out there. Some days the quarterback is on target and nails his spots, other days he’s way ahead or behind on timing. Skiing is no different, we are just humans performing a skill we have developed and some days we are firing on all cylinders and some days we feel like a rook.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by cottonmountaineering » Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:15 pm

sorry to hear about your shoulder dude, all of us here on the forum just want to make sure you don't die
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by ltlFish99 » Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:23 pm

k_fergie wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:46 pm
cottonmountaineering wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:40 pm
D1– Easy low angled terrain such as beginner run at ski resort.

D4 – Similar to an easier "Expert" run at a resort. Slope angles usually around 30 degrees.

D5 – Similar to an "Expert" run at a resort, steeper (35 degree range) or more terrain obstacles than previous rating.
...

...

...

D12 Conundrum Couloir
At least it doesn't dog leg. There's a chance he'll be able to just slide down the whole thing without getting hurt
Sounds like corbets. In a film a gentleman stated that 1 or 2 out of 10 nail the landing for the obligatory entrance leap.
The rext just slide, cartwheel, etc. to the bottom.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by SnowAlien » 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.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by Jorts » Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:57 pm

SnowAlien wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:44 pm
If you know how to jumpturn, you don't need to know how to ski.
:lol: Having been a snowboarder my entire life prior, this enabled me to fake it for my first couple years of spring skiing. But all bets are off if it's still firm.

Plant your pole, swing around and just get your shins forward in the boots on the landing so you don't wash out. Let the ski edges do the rest.
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Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by JacobW » 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.
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IMG_6011.JPG (151.99 KiB) Viewed 414 times
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