Peak:  Horseshoe Mountain (13er)
 Route:  Boudoir Couloir
 Range:  Mosquito
 Posted By:  Tim A
 Date of Info:  06/09/2019
 Date Posted:  06/09/2019

What a difference a day (and freeze) makes.

On Saturday 6/8 temp at the TH was 45 degrees at 3am, with thick overcast and blustery winds. I walked two miles of the approach in crap sinking snow and when I started postholing near the Horseshoe bowl at 430am, I bailed, figuring the Boudoir would be unsafe or at minimum unpleasant. At least a dozen hikers, skiers and boarders passed me on my way down, and their tolerance for suffering paid off today.

This morning, trailhead temp at 4am was 35 degrees, no wind, and clear skies. I carried snowshoes to the base of the couloir but did not need them today. A temperature inversion and thick layer of clouds kept the sun off the route until about 630 (regular sun hit is 530). As soon as the sun hit the slope, it became rapidly punchy. Lower third I put in a boot pack, upper 2/3rds I followed an excellent bootpack. Rock and ice falls into the couloir as soon as the sun hits the top cliffs. Icicles from the previous days melting start breaking off from the cornice over the route. The bootpack avoids most of this debris and the overhanging cornice by straying climber's left in the upper third of the couloir.

At top of couloir, overtaking the cornice at its lowest point is still a bit stressful in warm snow. Cornice ranges from 3-12' high.

Descended the Boudoir by glissade at 830am. Snow was so soft that minimal braking with the axe was necessary. Minimal postholing on the way out, temp was still in the high 30s this morning.

Like most other snow routes, a clear sky and cold night mean the difference between a pleasant morning out or a sufferfest.

Photos (click for slideshow):

Comments or Questions
06/09/2019 16:03
Love those sea of clouds photos.

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