Peak(s):  Oso, Mt  -  13,684 feet
Date Posted:  02/25/2011
Modified:  02/27/2011
Date Climbed:   04/24/2010
Author:  Manky
 Oso nice-Ski descent of Mt. Oso   

Been wanting to get this TR together for a while. This is my first TR on 14ers, so here we go!!

After a few recon and ski trips deep into the Weminuche, we finally sussed out a decent ski descent on Mt. Oso. Our goal was the giant snowfield visible from the south that drops right off the top and then curves you around beautifully into upper Roell Creek. Our access point was the Vallecito Creek Trailhead. After a stop at Comida Mexicana at Vallecito for burros, vitamin water and provisions we hit the trail about 1 p.m.
First bridge on Vallecito Creek

Vallecito trail-finally skinning

After a nice dinner and brew at our camp at the mouth of Roell Creek, we slept fairly good despite the long approach. In the morning we set off up Roell Creek with skis and a smile.
Roell Creek-Graylock and Thunder behind

A million dollar view preceded a very cold day.

After cruising up Roell creek and then up a steep portion at treeline, we got higher in the basin above Lost Lake. Peters Peak welcomes us as well as winds that force us to hike in puffy coats.
Skinning above lost lake with Peter's Peak behind

Point 13,179 that we skied a week prior.

Neat couloir off west side of Oso

Finally the frozen corn and increase in angle forces us to put the skis on the pack and boot up. Good corn for the climb, but pretty frozen on the descent.

Bootin it

All the way up on the boot pack we had to look at this tiny snowfield that we get to ski on the way down.
The huge snowfield

A long interesting ridge to the top with a huge drop to climbers right finally put us on the windy summit.
Happy summit but cold

Andy on top

The view up here was awesome despite some clouds around us.
San Juans

An excellent view of remote neighbor Mt. Irving-hoping to ski this one this year!
Mt. Irving

Skiing the upper portion of Oso.

Skiing the huge snowfield.

Skiing Roell creek just above camp.

After a cold, varied descent directly from the summit, we reached high camp at the mouth of Roell Creek tired and satisfied. For every great line we ski, we see ten more that we dream of doing. We have not heard of anyone else skiing Mt. Oso, so let us know if you have!!
Skiing back down Roell Creek

Back at high camp

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Easy Rider

Tanks for posting
03/13/2011 17:13
looks like a great trip. Way to get out there!


Nice slog
03/03/2011 16:17
Way to get out there, that must have been an amazing trip. Thanks for posting.


Nice work!
03/01/2011 22:55
That is a lot of skinning/hiking to ski a peak. Cool.


Re: Not in winter
02/26/2011 12:49
Oh...still, very cool to see a report from that area! I saw a post of yours a week ago which led me to think, without looking at the above date, that this was recent! Still Awesome!


02/26/2011 03:07
Nice to see a TR on part of the state, in winter, that probably sees few, if any visitors this time of year!!
Awesome! Thanks for posting...
(btw...the youtube vid's didn't load)


Not in winter.....
02/26/2011 03:33
This trip took place last April-see the climb date at the top. Finally figured out the youtube links.


02/26/2011 03:41
I know this is a serious effort to get there in the summer, I had to do a double take at first when I saw the date and the fact it was a ski trip.



02/26/2011 04:43
Great pictures, but I bet they don't come close to doing THAT scenery justice. Thanks for posting.


Great Job!
02/26/2011 02:38
I'd love to hear more about the expedition attack. Where, exactly, were you able to park? How was the approach to high-camp? Is it reasonable to continue further up the Vallecito (i.e. Sunlight Creek? )A week ago, you mentioned a carry to high camp. How long did that take; was the snow still broken when you climbed?

”We have not heard of anyone else skiing Mt. Oso, so let us know if you have!! ”

No, I haven't.
If it has been skied, I'll bet my boots it wasn't during true winter.

Looking forward to more TR's on this very remote stuff.



02/27/2011 14:06
The road is plowed right to the campground where the Vallecito trail head starts. The approach to Roell Creek high camp took about 5-6 hours of skiing (about 11ish miles). We skied Oso the next day and skied all the way back to the truck-a total of around 30 miles in a day and a half. Vallecito creek is an awesome approach for any climbs in this area. It is a very flat trail with gentle gain most of the way. Our carry two weeks ago took about a 10 hour round trip and we cached food around 8 miles near the foot of Mt. Irving. Planning on trying to ski Irving and some other secret projects soon!


Impressive trip, great first.
06/21/2013 04:51
A few pics a report surely don't do an effort like this justice, so hopefully a few words of appreciation help. Great Job, especially for being the first!!

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