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Peak(s):  "The Citadel"  -  13,295 feet
Date Posted:  04/29/2014
Date Climbed:   04/26/2014
Author:  bergsteigen
Additional Members:   edlins
 Snoopy's Backside: Riding the Dog with a Cat   

"The Cidadel"
Mileage: 8.7
Elevation Gain: 2,775'
Elevation Skied: 3,141'
Trailhead 1: Dry Gulch (Snoopy's Collar)
Trailhead 2: Herman Gulch (Snoopy's Backside)

Scott: Have you skied Citadel?
Me: Nope. Would like to one day. Weather looks a bit rough this weekend.
. Lots of discussion on other peaks/days
Me: What about Citadel for Sat?

We skiers all have a list of peaks/lines we want to ski. Some are higher on the list than others. Skiing Snoopy's Backside has been one for when I get done with the 14ers or when I wanted something close by and fast. The weather window on Saturday was small, with weather starting after noon, but as I had a concert to play in that evening, I didn't have much time anyway. On stage call at 5:30 doesn't leave much play time.

Scott was staying up at his condo in Summit, and I would be driving up from Boulder, so it was a perfect opportunity for a Snoopy Traverse! We met up at Herman, left my car, and went up to Dry. The road is packed down and fairly dirty, so we carried our skis until we got into the trees and the snow was a bit more white. From there it was a pretty easy ski up the drainage with the nice temperatures and bluebird sky!

We made the right turn and made the first bench before the slight drop and climb up Snoopy's Collar. Here we decided to transition to downhill, and slide over to where we'd put on the crampons and start the climb. During this transition, with one ski off one on, and a skin in my hand, a gust of wind ripped the bag for the skins out of my other hand and was blowing it down the firm icy slope away from me. Somehow, I popped out of my other ski and chased after the bag. The wind was so strong, that I had to do a leaping grab to get it before it went rocketing down slope any further. Thankfully the slope wasn't too steep, as I was sliding backwards, head down before I came to a stop.

First view of Dry Gulch Peaks

View near treeline, Golden Bear on left

The Citadel and Snoopy's Collar

Do you see Snoopy?

Golden Bear

Pano Of Hagar and Citadel

A diving save for the skin bag - Photo Credit: Scott

After the skin bag sillyness, we slid over and geared up for the fun climb ahead. The solar cooking was in full effect now, and the snow was softening nicely. It was also "nicely" balling up under my crampons. Step, step, whack! Step, step, step, whack! repeat for a thousand feet... Thankfully Scott's been getting after it this month, so he kicked most of the steps on the way up. The snow is pock marked by afternoon roller balls, and the best snow was on the sides.

Scott starting up Snoopy's Collar

Me following - Photo Credit: Scott

Scott on top of a rock cliff midway up, mildly dissapointed it wasn't a scramble

Hagar from the side, storms coming from west

The view behind me - Photo Credit: Scott

Looking down and back at Golden Bear

Scott in the collar

Me in the collar - Photo Credit: Scott

I've got big balls, They're such big balls, And they're dirty big balls... - Photo Credit: Scott

Once we got to the top of the Collar, we got our first view down the backside. Looked pretty good, except for the huge climbers holes in the top center of the couloir. We dropped our packs with skis, and had a nice scramble up to the exposed summit rock. We could see the clouds building to our west and quickly approaching. Some good views of nearby peaks. The Tuning Fork on Torreys looks a little thin from the summit ridge, though the east fork likely goes.

First view down the backside

Me just below the summit - Photo Credit: Scott

The sumit area... blocky exposure

The view to Guyot and Baldy

Tuning Fork is looking... thin near the ridge

Me carefully coming down the summit block with the pointy side down

Scott scrambling to the summit rock

We down climbed to the saddle and transition for the fun part. This was the first test of my new SkiLogik Goddess skis on something steep. My first day on them was a foiled attempt on Lindsey, resulting in a core shot in the brand new day 1 skis. So I held off skiing them again (after getting repaired) until I could get on a nice clean line without rocks! The first section was still reasonably firm, but the skis performed quite well. Very nimble and easy to turn. The mid section had some rough snow, but the skis cut through it rather well. The lower apron had some rollerball action, and so I didn't kick the skis into gear until a clean section. Overall the skis performed excellently, and I certainly skied the line much more aggressively and faster than I would have on my noodle BD Joule skis. Glad I listened to Fritz (killingcokes) and Brian (lordhelmet) about SkiLogik, very impressed!

My Skilogik Goddess's about to get their first taste of the steep stuff

View of the first section of the backside

Looking down couloir at Pettingell

Looking down Herman Gulch at Parnassus

Midway down there is a huckable rock, and Scott can't let one of those go without hitting it. So I set up to GoPro and film it simultaneously. So that's why there are arms in the video part. I tried to get out of the way of the wide angle lens, but it's really wide!

Me getting ready to multi film Scott's huck - Photo Credit: Scott

Scott hucking

A happy post huck Scott

Once below the steep stuff, it's a mellow glide all the way out. The trail gets a bit patchy just above the switchbacks, so I take off my skis, as there's no need to damage them further. I'd rather get a few more steeps in before I treat them too roughly!

Looking at the backside

A brief spot of sun on the descent

Zoom of the summit area on the backside

Pettingell's SE face

The map of the Snoopy Traverse

Overall, this is a great peak with 2 great ski lines, depending on what you fancy. And it's close to home, so I'm sure I will be back again someday. Hagar may even end up skied sometime soon as well, if I can squeeze it in. Enjoy the video!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
4/29/2014 6:39pm

Dave B
4/29/2014 7:11pm
We'd planned to ski Hagar and possibly the backside chute on Saturday, but backed out Friday night due to weather conditions.

Shoulda gone. Especially now that I might be fighting a f&#%ing cold through next week.

Anyways, well done.

Looks fun
4/29/2014 10:31pm
The Citadel has been on my list for a bit, I got to make it over there soon...

4/30/2014 8:15pm
jmanner- How could I not use the theme song to the Peanuts?

Dave B - The weather forecast changed on Friday to be more favorable. My partner was surprised by the bluebird, as he expected cloud cover all day and icy hardpack.

Nat - The lightweight gear is always nice on the way up! But now that I'm getting into steeper stuff, I need the control. The boots are pretty awesome. Stiffest flex I could find for womens AT - 120.

taylorz - I can't believe I've held off on Citadel for so long! The list is always growing...

Nice loop!
5/1/2014 12:09am
nice work bergsteigen!! I was up there as well with two buddies, skied the SE face, skied really well considering the persistent wind and clouds.
Nice TR!

nice report Otina!
5/1/2014 1:29pm
If I could ski I'd probably have a better comment. Enjoy May!

thanks for posting
5/1/2014 11:15pm
What angle does Snoopy's backside go at?

Moderate slope angle
5/1/2014 11:25pm
Prakash - The slope was maybe mid 40's right off the saddle, 40 in the middle then 35 for the apron. It's in Ben & Brian's book. So you should be able to ski it no prob!

bighorednate - Saw some tracks on the SE face. Plenty of lines to be had!

Dillon - Hasn't hanging out with skiers convinced you yet?

Love seeing same, same but different
5/6/2014 4:05am
Friends and i skied Citadel's NE couloir few weeks back (4-19) but we gained the ridge to the east (between pt 12438 and 12671). We skirted around citadel from the south and up Snoopy's collar. Super cool to read about a different approach to the same descent. Thx for sharing!

I am in the opposite boat on 2 items
4/2/2015 7:45pm
1) Skied Hagar (twice) but not Citadel. It's on the list!
2) I've been lugging around my new lightweight setup and definitely noticed the difference. I love, love them on the way up, but on the downhill they don't go as fast and powerful as my trusty Volkls. For now, I cannot make up my mind what's better. I'll keep testing! Nice work and thanks for the beta, as usual.

p.s. Nice boots!

Why the traverse
5/24/2017 12:49pm
Curious why you, and many, prefer the traverse and car-shuttle. Doesn't seem to save a ton of mileage, unless I'm missing something. Why not just start at Herman Gulch?

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