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 Peak(s):  Grizzly Pk A  -  13,988 feet
 Post Date:  07/18/2011
 Date Climbed:   07/17/2011
 Posted By:  pioletski

 The Endless Season continues   


Never Stop Skiing!



Ckimb and ski descent of Grizzly Peak (A), 7/17/2011

As I have mentioned to almost everyone I've met lately, I am pretty sure I have skied in Colorado in all months of the year - but I know I have never done it all in one year. With record-breaking snowfall last winter, this seems like the year to do it. Mind you, in any year one can find 100 feet of snow, make 6 turns and brag about it. So I have set myself a goal of at least one TR-worthy ski descent each month until the snow flies again (yes, on-piste skiing counts for this purpose).

Gerlinde and I were visiting some friends in Aspen a week ago and paused to make a few turns on Independence Pass on the way home. We got a great view of the north couloir of Grizzly Peak and immediately started thinking about skiing it. Most of my skiing partners are telling me they have hung up the boards for the summer (Benners made this very run his season finale), but when it came to the point we had no trouble rounding up a crew of die-hards.

Our group included Mike and Catherine, whom you will of course remember from my TR for Conundrum in June 2009. Since that time Miss Caleah Snow Sladdin has joined the family:

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(Caleah didn't actually ski; her skis were in the shop getting tuned.) Gerlinde:

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Tracee and Ray:

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Cathy:

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A better picture of Tracee:

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And myself, here at the summit:

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Canine companions: Riley...

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... and Slinky.

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Caleah brought her bugle just to make sure Papa was paying attention:

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We left the trailhead and walked up the Grizzly Creek valley on a carpet of wildflowers. The day was perfect:

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Mike hiked with Caleah, allowing Catherine to ski:

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Grizzly Lake, with the peak above:

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Looking down on the lake while climbing the couloir:

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Snowmass, Capitol and the Bells from the summit:

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The crew lounging in the sun:

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Cathy tops out:

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Once everyone was fed (including Riley), we geared up to ski. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any pictures that did anyone justice. Still, here's Ray:

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Gerlinde:

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Riley:

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Tracee:

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and Catherine:

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We paused on a bench just below the lake to take skis off...

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... while Caleah continued to charm!

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Apres-ski in July consists of beers in the cooler and brats on the grill at the trailhead!

I mentioned the carpet of wildflowers in this valley - like much of the Elks, they are truly magnificent. On the way up it was too dark to photograph them, so... These beauties grow really high up, near the summits:

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Lower down there are fields of Indian paintbrush:

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Columbine:

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And this splendid mountain blossom, which is so popular that I have even seen folks in town cultivating it on their lawns:

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Thanks for reading!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Carl


A truly endless season?     2011-07-18 11:11:17
Looks like legitimately good turns in mid July. Nice! This being my first weekend in the mountains without skis in 9 months I did find myself looking at a few snow fields and thinking... that might actually ski really well. Unfortunately I didn't find out. Awesome that you were able to get out and enjoy it with friends!


centrifuge


looks     2011-07-18 14:06:25
like an awesome trip! nice report


lodgling


”Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any      2011-07-18 17:40:03
that did anyone any justice.”

I disagree. Looks to me like you got an action shot that did Riley justice. He's really laying it all on the line there (image 19), especially for July.


Vailgirl


Riley ripping!     2011-07-18 23:20:48
I agree with Lodgling, the shot of Riley is great!!! She is actually my dog and her full name is Miss Riley and she is a ripper! She too wants to ski every month this year


otherbrotherdarryl

Endless ski season     2011-07-19 16:30:19
Sounds like a great goal, I bet August and September will be the most challenging months.

You guys had the cuteness factor nailed on this trip with Riley, Slinky and Caleah all on the same trip! Wow!


d_baker


melting     2011-07-19 18:08:34
A lot of snow has melted out near the lake in the last week or so since I was there. Good luck with your endless season!



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