Peak:  Mt. Aetna (13er)
 Route:  Grand Couloir
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  9patrickmurphy
 Date of Info:  05/16/2020
 Date Posted:  05/16/2020

Climbed via the ridge from Taylor, skied the Grand Couloir for descent. The couloir's in good shape today, I'm not sure what it'll look like next week though. Very narrow entrance at the top, was able to side-step down and not remove skis until 11,000. Corny and fun! Really suncupped at the bottom though.

I didn't find much beta about the Taylor/Aetna ridge so I'll give my two cents: annoying but generally solid talus on the Taylor side, easing to grassy slopes to the saddle. Then it was a nasty 50% grade for maybe 150 feet that was all covered in snow (very glad to have my axe), then it was relatively easy snow/loose talus to the summit of Aetna. I've dealt with worse ridges, but this one wasn't my fave (carrying skis and ski boots on my back the whole way didn't make me love it any more). Overall definitely worth getting both these peaks in one day, especially if the descent can be so much fun! A good amount of snow in Hoffman Park basin if you're looking to just hit Taylor, too.

Photo 1 - a nice sunrise
Photo 2 - the Grand from above
Photo 3 - the Grand from above, looking at the entrance point from the summit
Photo 4 - the Grand from below. Plenty of snow, but perhaps not for long...

Photos (click for slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Tim A

05/16/2020 19:25
Was wondering about coverage on this one, thanks for posting. Southern Sawatch had a really short season this year..

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