Peak(s):  Santa Fe Peak  -  13,180 feet
Date Posted:  04/23/2019
Date Climbed:   04/19/2019
Author:  bergsteigen
Additional Members:   MonGoose, EatinHardtack, BillMiddlebrook
 Ski Lounging   

Santa Fe Peak

  • mileage: 5.87
  • elevation gain: 2,670'
  • trailhead: Montezuma
  • partner: Bill, Zach, Nick

Why does ski mountaineering season sneak up on me, almost every year? It's not like I don't look forward to it all year long, eagerly anticipating the best season of the year! But yet, here I was after skiing Helen for fun with a protege, thinking I don't have my crampons, or an ice ax. Just my whippet. What peak can we do that we can just skin to the top... Thankfully Bill had the answer, as always. It would be a good peak for all of us to shake out the cobwebs of winter and get on with spring ski season!

We met at the Montezuma trailhead in town and either carried or put our skis on the packs for the short walk up the road to where the access road had snow to skin up. Icy in the morning, muddy in the afternoon. Short approach skin to the drainage we would ascend. A bit icy this morning, and some of the sidehilling was difficult with my fat 112 skis. Even Zach popped out of his skis, and had to carry them for a short bit, looking like a model.

Skinning into the sun
Zach the model

Slightly above the trees, we get a good view of the descent drainage thats steeper than our ascent. Looking good!

Light and shadows on an icy traverse
The fat skis getting a taste of some ski mountaineering
Nick coming up the drainage - Photo Credit: Bill

After a short break, with minimal lounging possibilities, we made the right turn into the lower angled gully for the ascent to the ridge.

Our ascent gully. No rocks!
Some Mining ruins up high
Gaining the ridge
Bill taking the lead, despite having the most recent surgery! Photo Credit: Bill

Another short windless break on the ridge before the final summit push. A good lounging spot.

Pano east, summit to the left

Pano west, summit to right

Short portage of skis over a rocky section, then a quick jaunt to the windy summit.

Bill approaching the summit
Next to the summit cornice, looking at Grays and Torreys

Me topping out - Photo Credit: Bill
Nick summitting
Zach skinning to the top
Windy summit break, not quite so lounge friendly - Photo Credit: Bill

Evans and Bierstadt
Grays and Torreys. Who wants to ski Torreys west face? I do!

After a short summit stay, with only minimal lounging, we skinned and then ripped skins to get down to the entrance to the gully.

Skin from the summit to the descent gully
Bill checking out our drop in zone next to the impressive cornice
Bill probably wondering what Nick is doing over there

Bill dropping in, looking like pre surgery Bill
Nick modelling
Nick dropping in

Finding some corn up top - Photo Credit: Bill
Nick tearing it up - Photo Credit: Bill

We traversed over to a sunnier slope for the better corn. Nick had to go chasing after a glove of Bill's that went flying.

Nick traversing to the goods - Photo Credit: Bill
Nick on the sunny slope

Bill starting off the traverse
Zach coming down the hot pow

The gang, album dropping soon...

Nick hitting the hot pow

Zach in the lower gully approaching the Lounge section - Photo Credit: Bill
Nick ripping - Photo Credit: Bill
Is it lounge time? We left that line dripping hot with all our tracks!

Bill checking base depth... it's deep still
Zach - I was told there'd be lounging

After a significant and warm lounging session, we were reminded by Nick that we were in fact skiing today, not lounging. So off we went onto the glorious corn snow down to the road.

Zach ripping the corn
Bill in the lower drainage
Some nice angulation for fat skis! - Photo Credit: Bill
Nick coming in HOT!

After a winter of skiing a LOT (on day 85 currently), I was wondering how changing just about everything this season was going to go. New skis, new bindings, even new resorts boots after 7 years with my old ones. I definitely noticed the difference between my Lange's for inbounds and my BC boots I've had for 5 years. Need to crank those buckles, as my skis were a lot more wobbly in the hot pow than I would like.

Overall, a good easy peak to get the rust off! Hoping for a good, long, healthy season to come!

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
04/24/2019 17:57
It was great to get back out with you, Otina. Let's get some more!

04/27/2019 18:11
Get after it, Otina!

Nice job
04/27/2019 18:46
...and good action shots.
I'll really have to stop "walking" down these mountains soon...

04/29/2019 13:26
Bill - May and June are looking good! We have lots of peaks to ski!

Rob - Getting after it while I can!

nyker - I hate walking down mountains, but I have to do something during those dry summer/fall months...

Peru Creek Rd?
05/02/2019 12:32
Did you notice if Peru Creek Rd was open yet to the backside of Edwards?

Peru Creek
05/02/2019 16:21
Open sorta. Excel is working in the area and the road is plowed for a bit. Likely repairing after the March avalanche cycle. Road is still gated I believe. Bring a bike!

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