Peak(s):  Grizzly Pk A  -  13,988 feet
Date Posted:  06/22/2008
Date Climbed:   06/21/2008
Author:  Nice Axe

 Grizzly Chute   

Itinerary: hike/skin/snowclimb to summit of Grizzly Peak (13988') from Grizzly Reservoir TH (10560'); ski descent to ~11000'
Who: scotthsu (Scott) and Nice Axe! (Amy)
Elevation climbed: ~3428'
RT mileage: ~8.5 miles
Time: ~6.5 hours (stops included); 3.83 hours to summit; 1 hour on summit & hanging out, 1.67 hours down
Equipment: skis, BD Whippet poles, shovel/beacon/probe, crampons

Grizzly Peak, located in the Sawatch near Independence Pass, is the highest CO. centennial thirteener. Interestingly, Grizzly Peak used to be a ranked 14er, until more recent geological surveys.

We slept in the car in a camping area just past Grizzly Reservoir TH. The camping area was pretty full as eager hikers/skiers had been awaiting the opening of Lincoln Creek Road. We started booting at 5:15 am; patchy snow was firm. The trail was easy to follow and we were able to start skinning around 11000' about 1.5 miles in.

View of the basin after we started skinning:

Early view of Grizzly Chute (blue) and the Northeast Shoulder Route (lookers left of Grizzly Chute):

Higher up in the basin with the Northeast Shoulder Route prominent:

We started booting up the chute a couple hundred feet above Grizzly Lake (12,500'). The snow was firm and we made good use of our crampons during the snowclimb as part of the chute was still in shadow and very firm.

Amy part way up the chute with Grizzly Lake below. The upper half of the chute was sustained at 40-44 degrees:

Scott leading the snow climb:


A view down Grizzly Chute. Notice the extra credit couloir on the far right of the photo in the background.

Summit shot of Chicago Transplant, shanahan96, and party on Grizzly Peak taken from the top of Grizzly Chute. Nice to meet you guys!

On Grizzly Peak. The weather couldn't have been more accommodating - the wind was minimal and the sun was shining. We had lunch on the summit and met a few more people:

A view of the approach basin from the top of Grizzly Chute; a party of 4 skiing the Northeast Shoulder:

We hung out for a while to wait for the snow to soften up and eventually dropped into the Chute at 10:20am. We encountered nearly perfect spring snow conditions on the first day of summer! Now for the ski porn - Nice Axe! on the upper pitch:

Scott showing his usual perfect tele-god form:

Still nice corn lower down (Scott):

A shot of the hike out on great trail. You can see snow line behind:

Thrilled to find some more great skiing!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Great report
02/05/2011 00:22
Thanks for posting, how was the rock fall in the couloir?

Nice Axe

06/30/2008 02:55
Hey Ken,
There was definitely rockfall in the couloir. Fortunately Grizzly Chute is quite wide and we did not feel particularly threatened by it.

Chicago Transplant

Nice to meet you!
06/23/2008 14:12
Thanks for posting the report Amy, looks like you and Scott had a great ski! It was nice meeting both of you, I will have to come back with skis and repeat this route sometime!


06/23/2008 14:26
Thanks for the beta!


Solid work
01/19/2011 03:38
Gas prices be damned. You two are really putting in the miles.


I knew that was you!
11/30/2010 17:28
We were climbing up to the summit just as you were leaving. I recognized you guys from pictures you've posted and the skis seemed to confirm my suspicions. I should have said hi, but I wasn't 100% sure. Looks like the ski descent was great!

scotthsu party
06/23/2008 16:02
chicago transplant: how was the traverse over to garfield? did you guys get a nice glissade down?

del_sur: no kidding; it‘s around $120 each time we head to CO, and I think there‘s only been 2 or 3 weekends since late April that we haven‘t headed up there. but pretty much gas prices be damned, this is what we live for

SarahT: After we passed you guys, I said to Amy, hey that looked like SarahT! !!! I totally should have just asked if your name was Sarah

Anyway, it‘s so cool to finally put real faces to ”celebrities” like Mike, Jamie, and Sarah.

Nice Axe

Great Day on Grizzly!
06/30/2008 02:55
Scott beat me to it, but I was thinking the same thing - it is pretty cool to finally meet some of the personalities on 14ers out doing what we love.

SarahT - would have been great to meet you too. You‘ve put up some pretty incredible reports and I‘ve enjoyed reading them! Keep it up!

ChicagoT - definitely check out Grizzly on skis. But beware, you‘ll have a trouble removing the perma-grin that ends up being plastered to your face

Chicago Transplant

06/23/2008 16:34
The traverse to Garfield was fun, had to stay below the ridge on the west to avoid some initial towers, then ascended a gully up to the crest with a little bit of easy scrambling. The glissade was interesting, it kept wanting to spit us into the rocks and we had to self arrest. Then had to hike around some rocks to get to the open slopes, it didn‘t save us any time. We should have come back a little more towards Grizzly, there was a good descent route a few hundred yards over, oh well, its easier to see that kind of stuff from the road below! Skiing would have been more fun for sure


Nice work!
06/23/2008 19:22
Looks like you guys had amazing weather. Congrats on Day #70 Scott!


06/24/2008 03:46
scott, amy- great meeting you folks, especially in that kinda setting. glad to see the ski went well! like mike already mentioned, our descent(glissade + willows) wasn‘t the smoothest of things, yet we came out unscathed.

hopefully we‘ll see you again out there!



well done
06/26/2008 03:20
Really enjoyed the pix and thread above

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