| Scenes from a Life
Climb and ski descent of White Rock Mountain
Crew: Brittany (mtnbikerskierchick), Frank (gb), Kim (kimberski), Matt (pioletski), John, Jen, Jonathan, Jeremy. (Invitations were extended only to 14ers members and people whose names start with "J"...)
Edit: Sorry, Kim's name is "skiberly," not "kimberski." She also goes by "Kim-Burly" among others.
As I sit down to write this TR, it is June 18th - my parents' wedding anniversary and, coincidentally, Brittany and Frank's wedding day. Brittany and Frank have become really good friends in a short time - I've only known them for a little over a year, having met them on a ski trip to Little Bear last spring. I learned pretty quickly to take up any invitation to get outside with Brittany and Frank; good things seem to happen with them, and my wedding day wish for them is that this continues to be the case.
Brittany and Frank have a motley collection of friends, most of whom have in common a passion for ski mountaineering. What better way to introduce them all to one another than a ski trip. They chose White Rock, near their home in Crested Butte. This was the summit where Frank proposed to Brittany, as described in her blog, a year ago.
A happy, excited and slightly goofy crew met up at 5:00 am and packed into 2 cars for the ride to the Copper Creek trailhead. After negotiating a mud bog that would swallow a truck - ok, a Geo Metro - we saddled up. L to R: Frank, John, Brittany, Jen, Jonathan, Jeremy, Kim.
After about a mile and a half, we encountered the first (and silliest) obstacle of the day. Here the bride-to-be negotiates the crossing of Copper Creek:
Frank had thought to bring his Tevas along. He shared, by flinging them across the river:
Note the flying sandal in the upper left of this photo:
To put this in perspective: the subject in this photo (yours truly) is 6 feet tall and proportionally long-legged...
... and is NOT kneeling on the creekbed in this photo!
The subject of this photo (Jen) is a little over 5 feet tall, but disproportionately brave...
The other creek crossing was shallower, but slicker:
With all the water crossings, Kim elected to keep her shorts and sneakers on...
... until we reached the base of the climb. Here we got serious - well, ok, not really. The group's chosen stimulants were consumed, those who hadn't already donned their boots did so, and we started skinning up into the basin:
Altitude was rapidly put behind us:
When the slope became too steep for efficient skinning, we swapped skins for crampons:
Frank gave us his considered opinion of the Craisins he had brought along: tasteless, but free!
John, looking burly, had led the climb to this point:
He handed the lead over to Frank just in time for some deep postholing. Well Frank, it is your wedding weekend after all.
Frank was trying out a new method of carrying skis up a mountain. He was actually pretty pleased with the results:
Climbing over a roll in the terrain brought the summit and our descent route into view:
The weather was pretty unsettled over the Maroon Bells to the north:
We reached the summit under grey clouds, but remained dry:
Springtime in the town of Crested Butte, about 4500 feet below:
Views from the summit included Cathedral, Conundrum and Castle:
and the glorious Bells:
The happy couple keeping each other warm at the summit:
Time to ski! Here's Jen...
... and Kim...
... and Brittany.
This is an awesome, playful descent route, with a good 2900 vertical feet of skiing before returning to the Copper Creek trail. We had a good time on this little wind-sculpted roller:
I followed Frank into a narrow slot through a cliff band:
All too soon, we were back at the creek crossing:
Kim took a farewell photo: White Rock is on the right, White Widow (another spectacular run) on the left:
And we all dried out our socks for the hike out:
Thanks for reading, thanks to the crew for coming out to play, and thanks to Frank and Brittany for putting this together!
Most important of all: Please join me in wishing Brittany and Frank a long, happy and adventurous marriage.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):