Peak:  Mt. Elbert (14er)
 Route:  Box Creek Couloirs
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  chris stellato
 Date of Info:  04/10/2021
 Date Posted:  04/12/2021

Ascended via east ridge with plans to ski the Box Creek Couloirs. Stayed in hiking boots all the way to summit in the morning, no need for floatation. Snow on the ascent seemed stable, but after traversing over preparing to drop into the couloirs, discovered a 2-4" windslab packed into the couloirs. After evaluating the snow and easily pushing off the stiff top windslab layer, decided it was too dangerous avalanche conditions and retreated climbing back up out of couloirs and descended back down the east route.

Down near treeline, snow went to absolute garbage slush by 1:00pm, collapsing so badly we could not stay afloat on snowboard or skis. Due to delays with backing off the original plan, we were descending later than planned and the postholing was brutal. Saw a group in snowshoes postholing up to their waist, and I was occasionally punching through on my splitboard/skins. Picture is looking down couloir entrance on skier's right.

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1) looking down couloir entrance on skier’s right.

Comments or Questions
04/13/2021 07:44
Thanks for posting and confirming what I suspected - Elberts my last 14er and I want to ski Box Creek, been anxiously waiting for spring to hit NE faces like those.

chris stellato
any time
04/13/2021 13:00
Always happy to share. It was a lot of work to get up there and we were very bummed about not being able to ski Box Creek but that's how it goes sometimes. The lines in Box Creek were steep and aesthetically beautiful, was really cool to see them up close. My partner skied pretty much off the summit right into the entrance to the couloirs. If snow was safe it would make for a spectacular descent with amazing views. Hope you get to "check the box" this season!!

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