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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.
Slightly above the trees, we get a good view of the descent drainage thats steeper than our ascent. Looking good!
After a short break, with minimal lounging possibilities, we made the right turn into the lower angled gully for the ascent to the ridge.
Another short windless break on the ridge before the final summit push. A good lounging spot.
Short portage of skis over a rocky section, then a quick jaunt to the windy summit.
After a short summit stay, with only minimal lounging, we skinned and then ripped skins to get down to the entrance to the gully.
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.
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.
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):
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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