Hagar Mountain Ski Tour
Starting elevation ~ 10,600 Loveland Pass Exit off I-70
Approach - Dry Gulch
Who - Mickeys Grenade (Jeff) and dchambliss (Don)
We started out carrying our skiis on our backs down the road to Dry Gulch. There was enough snow on the road that we could not drive to the gate, but not enough snow to ski to the gate. Shortly after the gate there was enough snow to skin up the road into Dry Gulch. We left the car about 6:30 AM. The weather was sunny and warm. After one break the jackets came off.
Sun Hit on the Citadel
Sun Hit on the Citadel
Hagar Mountain Ski Descent Line
Don at 2nd Break
Saddle to the South of Hagar
Don Carrying Skiis to Saddle
We decided to carry our skiis and kick steps up to the saddle. It would have been difficult to skin up to the saddle. The snow was hard in spots. Then we carried skiis up the South Ridge to the top.
Mt. of the Holy Cross in the Distance
Don Climbing Up South Ridge
Zoom in on Mt. of the Holy Cross
Don Heading down to dig a snow pit
We tried something new on this trip. We set up a belay and Don went down the slope to dig a snow pit. There was 4-5 inches of wet snow on top, 3 thin ice layers, and 5-6 inches of depth hoar at the bottom. Don did a shovel compression test. 5 wrist taps - nothing. 5 elbow taps - nothing. 3 shoulder taps - Failure! The ice layer just above the depth hoar failed.
We regrouped at the top and discussed the situation. We decided that we were both willing to accept the risk to ski this face. This descent is Southeast facing and CAIC had a moderate avalanche rating. It's about 400 feet of vertical and gets to ~ 40 degrees. We had our beacons on and prepared for the descent. We skiied from the small saddle in between the twin summits.
The snow was soft and the skiing was exciting
Don getting up after small crash
It was an awesome ski descent. I was so happy that it was time for a Cheetos moment
Time for a Cheetos Moment
It's sad that there isn't more snow in the mountains right now. It felt more like June then March on this ski tour. The rest of the ski out was fun. There is a section near the bottom that is kind of flat with willows sticking up through the snow. We had to carry our skiis from just above the gate back up hill to the car. It was a great trip that provided a lot of fun. We got back to the car at 2:00 PM.