Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  06/10/2017
Modified:  06/16/2017
Date Climbed:   06/10/2017
Author:  dahu38
 Skied Box Creek to the very bottom   

My skis tend to get seasick when being carried too long on a backpack. So we (my skis and me) were looking for a variant to optimize skiing versus carrying. However, it is not evident to locate the lowest point of a snow tongue in the forest while approaching semi-somnolently in the early morning. Eventually my skis agreed that we would climb the East Ridge till hitting snow, skin to the summit and then search for a nice long ski descent.

South Mt Elbert TH, 6 am: I put my slightly lamenting skis on the backpack to walk up the largely dry East Ridge. A continuous snowfield starts roughly where the ridge steepens. We skin from there to the summit.

10 am: First descent in the center couloir of Box Creek with excellent corn. Tom's and my skis convince us that this has to be repeated! So we skin up to the Northeast ridge and walk back up to the top of the Box Creek couloirs.

11:30 am: Second descent in the rightmost (seen from bottom) couloir: To clear the avy risk we intentionally kick off a small wet slide (2-3 inch thick) in the center of the couloir and wait at the side till it reached the bottom of the couloir. Then a second nice descent in deep corn.

This time my skis and me follow the entire Box Creek till the last snow tongue ended around 11300 ft. Given the time of the day, the snow was very decent the whole way. Probably the cold wind had delayed the defrosting.

From there we crossed through not very dense forest southeast (GPS direction to TH), then descend to reach the Continental Divide trail and hike back to TH. About 2.5 mi from end of snow to TH.

Note, to cross a forest in easy terrain my skis prefer to be carried horizontally by hand. So they don't get stuck in the low branches, they don't strip off dry needles falling in my collar (and from there lower...) and you really don't want to make your skis seasick, believe me!

Image
Seen from CO-24 the East Ridge is rather dry.

Image
Like this it looks like a pretty flat summit.

Image
Finally I could point to another "skier" and reassure my skis that they are not the only ones being carried through forests and dry meadows.

Image
Cold wind on the ridge and summit: everybody in hardshell, hood and gloves. Well, nearly everybody.

Image
The exception proofs the rule.

Image
Tom's skis at their first descent today.

Image
Tom's skis warming up.

Image
Tom's skis running out.

Image
View back after our second descent.

Image
Where will the snow end?

Image
Watch out: there is a gargling creek below the snow!

Image
End of enjoyment for my skis.

Image
Clearly the most efficient way to return to the TH.

Image
More bikers, now also my boots start getting jealousâ¦

Image
A look back from Twin Lakes,

Image
and from US-24.

Image
1st ascent green, 1st descent orange, 2nd ascent blue, final descent red.

Image
My skis look back from US-24 to check a last time the tracks they left in the Box Creek couloirs.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19


Comments or Questions
SnowAlien

Lapping Box Creek
06/16/2017 18:17
Nice! We also skied 2 lines on Box Creek when we did it - sooo good!



   Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.




© 2021 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.