Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
Date Posted:  04/21/2008
Date Climbed:   04/19/2008
Author:  BurnHard

 Long‘s Peak via Lambs Slide + Ski Descent   

First post here on 14ers. I usually publish my trip reports on TGR, but thought it would be appropriate to post this TR on here as well.
I‘ve been wanting to ski Lambs Slide ever since a friend mentioned it to me and showed me pictures of this beautiful line right next to the Diamond. I knew I still wasn‘t in good enough shape to hike Long‘s bottom-to-top in one day in winter condtiions with skis on my back, but I wouldn‘t let that hold me back. Conditions were finally beyond perfect this weekend and so I set out Friday evening after work on a mission: hike up to near Chasm Lake and bivouac, cutting the daily vert in half, and set out for the summit the next day. So I did.

#1. Hiking up the Long‘s Peak Trail on Friday evening after work. What a way to end a weekday

The only time I did Long‘s before was last summer in running shoes & a camelback.
I remembered the trail from the Ranger Station to Chasm Lake to be much shorter.
But with 50+ lbs on my back (Atomic Big Daddy‘s in 190cm + Marker Dukes + Alpine boots) and tired from a day in the office, the trail turned out to be much longer

#2. Moon rising

I finally arrived at the saddle where the trail splits around Mt. Lady Washington. I was already tired and it was getting dark (~8pm) and decided to camp out there instead of pushing for Chasm Lake which would‘ve been colder anyway. Found a big boulder with a nice flat spot next to it, dug some snow out, rollet my thermarest + bivouac bag + sleeping bag out, and made myself comfortable. Managed to take this long exposure shot of the valley before falling asleep.

#3. Valley under Moonlight (Longmont I believe)

Next morning, alarm clock set for 4am - initial struggle to get out of the warm sleeping bag into the freezing cold, took 15 minutes of convincing myself, plus another 10 minutes of jumpin-jacks to get myself warmed up. Packed up, stashed a bunch of un-needed gear under a nearby rock, and set out.

#4. Just after 4am at the campsite - ready to depart.

#5. Looking back at the sunrise

#5. Long‘s Diamond at the magic hour

After my initial plan of hiking to the right of Chasm Lake over to Mill‘s Glacier, I realized how solidly frozen the lake was and just crossed directly over it. Hiked up Mill‘s Glacier and headed into Lamb‘s Slide.

#6. View from Lambs Slide - ??

Long story short - I was out of water by 4.30am on Saturday morning, shortly after leaving camp. Don‘t ask why (Duh), in any case, I started getting seriously dehydrated. Halfway up Lamb‘s Slide I realized I was getting weaker from the lack of water, and started eating some salty peanuts with melted snow. This got me up to the top of Lambs where I stashed my skis and kept hiking around the Loft, hoping to still be able to summit. At ~13,700ft, seriously close to the summit, legs started cramping up from dehydration & exhaustion, and I decided it would be safer to turn around now and still be able to ski Lambs. A little bummed that I didn‘t summit, but still totally happy I would still get to ski the line I‘ve been wanting to ski:

#7. Ski tracks down Lambs Slide

The skiing down Lambs Slide was absolutely AWESOME. A little hard and wind-slabby on the top, but absolutely awesome cream-cheesyness from 3/4 down.

#8. Looking back at the diamond (and my tracks on Mill‘s if you look closely enough)

#9. Chasm Lake

#10. Looking back - What a day...

This was an incredible journey for me. My first ski descent of a (part of a) 14‘er in Colorado/USA AND my first solo trip out here.
I‘ve done several solo ascents before, back home in the Italian (and Swiss) alps, but never a solo ski descent.
Snow & Weather conditions couldn‘t have been better, and I‘m stoked to have had the chance to take some pretty pictures



 Comments or Questions

04/21/2008 19:23
a pretty incredible camera, what kind is it? Those are some top notch, high resolution shots. I was getting thirsty just reading your TR, specially when you mentioned salty peanuts.

David Connolly

Nice job
04/21/2008 19:46
That moonlit shot is simply beautiful. Looks like you had a great time. Nice solo too. Thanks for the report.

catfish hank

04/21/2008 19:59
Nice work getting up to 13,700 waterless. Did you have to get a backcountry permit for overnighting? Love to do this route soon as well but hate to depart with another $20 this late in my pay cycle. Also how were ice/verglas conditons on the backside?


Fee & camera
04/21/2008 20:10
Tell you the truth, I didn‘t pay I don‘t know if I had to pay or not, I didn‘t care honestly. I had a friend give me a ride to the trailhead so I didn‘t even leave my car at the parking lot, so I truly believe there‘s nothing I should‘ve been asked to pay for.

Thanks for the kind words guys!
The camera is a Canon 40D digital SLR with Tamron 11-18mm and Canon 24-70/2.8 lenses. Lots of extra weight, but 100% worth it


04/22/2008 12:20
Beautiful photos. I hope you continue to post reports on 14ers!


I agree
08/28/2008 00:37
Outstanding pictures!!!! Grats on your line


06/10/2011 00:00
I wonder what happened to the pics here? Can anyone else see them?


06/10/2011 00:03
Sorry folks ... my original smugmug account expired a while ago and I had catastrophic hard drive failures, lost my photographs. I think that means I have to do more trips & take new photos...

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