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Couloir Season 2013

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby benners » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:29 am

SamS wrote:I'd also be interested in info on these lines if anyone has recent conditions:
-Dragon's Tail
-San Joaquin Couloir
-The Snake
-Cristo Couloir


I know the SJC has been getting skied a lot lately. We were considering going for it on our recent trip but bailed last minute reasoning that the chute was probably skied off, tracked out, and icy. Pure conjecture and it could very well be skiing great, but temps have been cold down there at night and it's inset and north facing, and given how many people have skied it recently, it's educated conjecture!

There is a beta shot of the Cristo either on this thread or in one of the recent trip reports. Looks in more or less.

Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby bergsteigen » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:40 am

SamS wrote:I'd also be interested in info on these lines if anyone has recent conditions:
-Dragon's Tail
-San Joaquin Couloir
-The Snake
-Cristo Couloir


I know that Dragon's Tail was skied by a forum member 2 weekends ago (looked great). I skied it March 10'th and it was in good shape, with some evidence for afternoon point releases on the lookers right side. I have some photos up on my website: Chaos Couloir & Dragon's Tail
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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby SamS » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:46 am

bergsteigen wrote: bergsteigen


Did you guys climb the snow/ice step near the top? I skied it in January but got turned back by this because my partner didn't feel comfortable soloing it - which I understand... I really want to ski it from the top though.

benners wrote:
SamS wrote:There is a beta shot of the Cristo either on this thread or in one of the recent trip reports. Looks in more or less.


Yeah I saw that, it's a bit hard to tell but it does look like Cristo is in.

Thanks for the info!

I'm also looking for a partner for one of these lines now this weekend (4/6 or 7) seeing as my partner just bailed on me. PM if interested!

Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby bergsteigen » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:13 pm

SamS wrote:
bergsteigen wrote:


Did you guys climb the snow/ice step near the top? I skied it in January but got turned back by this because my partner didn't feel comfortable soloing it - which I understand... I really want to ski it from the top though.


I didn't, as I was up to a 4.6K elevation day at a fast pace already, when I got to the choke point, so I was saving my legs for the ski. 2 others went up another 200' or so.

Maybe another skier can chime in, that has done it more recently than I.
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games."
- Ernest Hemingway (or was it Barnaby Conrad?)

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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby kushrocks » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:47 pm

Prepare to be nametaged

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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby antonkrupicka » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:50 pm

I did Martha's and the Cables this morning (April 4th), and got a couple shots of Dreamweaver, The Flying Dutchman, and Lambs Slide as well.

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Dreamweaver and the Loft

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The Flying Dutchman and Lambs Slide.

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Looking down the narrow part of Martha's, maybe just above the 2nd crux step?

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Just above the 2nd crux rock step (the first crux being right at the base).

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Looking up to the final crux.

Going up Martha's on-sight was an on-the-fly decision on my part, so I didn't get a particularly early start (left TH at 8:10am, was at the base of Martha's at 9:39am, exited the top at 10:08am) and was a bit worried the snow would be too soft/prone-to-wet-sliding, but it was great purchase pretty much the whole way, though I wouldn't have wanted to go any later. Contoured over to the Longs/MLW saddle and went up the Cables to the summit (11:07am). Because I wasn't necessarily planning on Martha's, I went up with just my super-dull Kahtoola KTS Steel Crampons and one C.A.M.P Nanotech Corsa, but I never felt insecure. The cruxes felt a bit more difficult than the chimneys on Kieners to me, or maybe that was because it was my first time pulling the moves.

The next part I feel embarrassed to even write about publicly, but maybe it will serve as a cautionary tale.

I descended very quickly back to the Cables (~6min), downclimbed them, and then maybe 5 steps below the bottom of the Cables I triggered an avalanche that swept me ~200' down the North Face, beating me up pretty good in the process but not burying me. I bounced over several boulders/slabs, twisted a knee pretty badly, ripped a gaiter with my crampons (but not my leg), and bruised a hip, but was able to walk (run) away from it. That was a first for me, though (and hopefully a last), and the thought of the slopes on the north face above the Cables sliding while I was on them was enough to make me sick to my stomach (picturing being swept over the lip of the Diamond). I guess things warmed just enough that they were ready to wet-slide by time I returned but somehow remained stable enough on the ascent less than 30min prior. f***ing scary s**t, and a lesson learned. I was back at the car before 12:30pm.

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North Face avalanche just below the Cables.

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You can see the crown just below the Cables in this zoom shot.

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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby YooperJonKornely » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:58 pm

Wow... glad you are OK!

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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby Carl » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:25 pm

Thanks a lot for sharing that Anton. I've been nervous in that exact spot in early season conditions but dismissed the risk too quickly myself too. A good lesson for all. Glad the injuries weren't too bad (assumption based on the stupid fast times you continued to post).

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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby pvnisher » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:11 pm

Anton- is that the same CAMP ax you lost on Long's back in Jan?

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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby Carl » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:33 pm

pvnisher wrote:Anton- is that the same CAMP ax you lost on Long's back in Jan?


Corsa v. Corsa Nanotech. I only recall cause I've been thinking about whether I can justify getting the latter when I already have the former.

Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby Bean » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:10 pm

Carl wrote:Corsa v. Corsa Nanotech. I only recall cause I've been thinking about whether I can justify getting the latter when I already have the former.

You can always justify it. I'm trying to justify buying two pairs of new crampons because my existing crampons now weigh 150% of what my boots do.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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Re: Couloir Season 2013

Postby nkan02 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:20 pm

I kinda had a spooky experience myself today as well. After skiing Sherman, I traversed over to Sheridan. As I was standing at the top of the gully deciding on the best ski descent route, I witnessed a cornice collapse just below me, - apparently a hang fire, as the entire cornice length on Sheridan has slid at some point in the past. Thankfully, it was not a big slide, but if I was caught in its path, I would have been dragged into rocks about 100 feet below. Slope measured at about 30 degrees. Definitely a scary experience and lesson learned - don't go anywhere near the cornices.

I can't stand my new camera, battery was dying and I could not see much - it was so bright, but this should give some idea:

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Slide as seen from above
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Slide from below

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Zoom of a crown

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