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 Peak(s):  San Luis Peak  -  14,014 feet
 Post Date:  06/03/2010 Modified: 05/27/2014
 Date Climbed:   06/02/2010
 Posted By:  BillMiddlebrook

 San Luis Solitude       




Overview


After receiving some great beta from other 14ers.com members, I decided to make a quick trip to San Luis to see if I could get in a bit of skiing. The Yawner Gullies (west side) were completely dry so the east side was the only option. Snow conditions were marginal but I was able to ski a lot of vertical, for June.

It turned out to be a fun day with plenty of solitude. I didn't see another person from the point I turned past Dome Lakes, 20 miles from the trailhead.

Routes: Hike: standard route, Ski: east and northeast slopes
Date: 6/2/2010
Skiers: Me
Trailhead: Stewart Creek
Elevation Gain: 3,900'
Ski Vertical: 2,300'
RT Mileage: 13 miles
Topo of the route (blue=hike, yellow=re-climb, red=ski):
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Google map (blue=hike, red=ski):
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Climb


I started at 4:30am and had a brief stand-off with a moose around 10,800'. The trail was mostly dry to tree line. Once I reached the firm snow at 12,100', I decided to keep hiking boots on and summit with my skis/boots on my pack. What's another 2 miles after carrying it this far?!?
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Leaving the basin and hiking to the NE ridge

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Looking west at my potential ski line

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On the NE ridge, viewing the east slopes



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Approaching the summit

When I reached the summit at 9:00am, it was cool and partly cloudy.
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This could be an interesting ski

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Looking north

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The dry west side



Ski



I dropped onto the east slope, stepped through a dry patch and began the ski down to the northeast. My goal was to ski about 700', angle below the summer trail and re-climb to the 13,700-foot point along San Luis' northeast ridge.
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There's snow down there, really

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Skiing the east slopes

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The snow was so choppy I wished I had a mouth guard!

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Ski and re-climb to NE ridge

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13,700' on the NE ridge, looking back to summit

On the 13,700-foot point, looking north along the ridge.
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On the 13,700-foot point

Notice: You can't see it in this next photo, but there's a cornice along this ridge. Before you send me a "Bill, are you insane or stupid?" email, I'll mention that I took great care on this section of the ski and spent time testing the snow, using various methods.

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Dropping north down the ridge.

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I didn't get too close to the main cornice section

Dropping below the cornice.
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Turning the corner to get below the cornice

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Skiing out onto the face

Continuous snow all the way down to 12,100'.
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Not great snow, but snow

A solid overnight freeze and cool temps this morning kept this thing solid.
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No cornices were harmed during the ski of this peak

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Descending towards the creek

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Near 12,700'

This face held the best skiing of the day.
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Fun

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Continuous snow from 13,700'

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Who says the east side of San Luis doesn't have good ski options?


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Started to snow as I neared the end fo the ski

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Back to dry land

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One last look at the descent from 13,700'


Sure is a beautiful place.
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Looking back from the trailhead. Inset - one of the many, many beaver ponds



My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 

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