Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Date Posted:  12/18/2011
Date Climbed:   12/18/2011
Author:  FreetheHeels
 Devil's Playground Skiing   

I decided to take advantage of the warm weather today and head up to Devil's Playground to check out the snow conditions. Surprisingly, there was some decent skiing. I got there later than planned, so didn't have as much time to explore additional options, but sometimes it's the quality of the turns rather than the quantity

After driving up the toll road I hiked out towards the Crags on the Devil's Playground trail. At the large saddle that overlooks Glen Cove, there is a bowl going to the south. At about 12,700 I went southwest to attain the ridge at 12,888. The snow was very hardpacked and icy in most spots, windblown crust - HOWEVER, this made it perfect for skiing since there were only a few inches in most spots. You were guaranteed to not break through! It took about 1 hour from Devil's Playground to the top of the ridge (with time to evaluate the snowpack a bit near the face) - Photo Image

From the top the view was beautiful! I've always wanted to ski these lines up here, and finally decided to head up. See photo for more views (and a happy skier!). The view off the ridge was nice. Great slope angle for some fun turns. I made one hard traversing turn right off the bat to make sure it was solid and sure enough everything held up nicely and the rest of the run was perfect. Image

View looking down the face

You can see in the next photo that there are other options for descending, but if you want to hit the upper part of the bowl to the east, then you're better off traversing and making the turn. However, you can continue to angle more downhill to pick up more turns and then skin back across the bowl and up around to the ridge again. Either way is fun

There were a few other hikers on the trail heading up to the summit. Most of the upper slopes were windblown and rocky with a little snow tossed in. But this area is in good shape now for making turns close to home!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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