Backcountry Skiing in Colorado

Skiing and Hiking in the Colorado Backcountry

Hopeful on Cinco de Mayo


Mt. Hope, Hopeful Couloir Descent

I’ve been waiting to publish this trip report to make sure I give it the credit it deserves.  On April 28th I attempted the Hopeful Couloir on Mt. Hope (13,933′) with my buddy Eric and due to some route-finding errors (actually one BIG route-finding error) we never made it.  Hungry for redemption I called Jon Jay that week and told him I knew where to go, and we were going to ski the Hopeful.  Jon agreed (as he usually does) and I met him at the trailhead at 4:15 am and we started to climb.  Much like my trip up Dragon Tail I knew we would be fighting a hot sun so we set a brisk pace with headlamps donned.

Before long we were at the point where I made the fatal mistake the week prior.  Confidently I turned left – instead of right – and we were headed up Big Willis Gulch towards our objective.  As the Hopeful Couloir came into view it looked like we were near the end of our journey, but as we began skinning up the coulie we realized how massive this thing was and that we were in for a slog.

Jon tops out

We transitioned high on some rocks and went to work.  We topped-out around 9:30 and scrambled to the summit for our well-earned views and summit shots.  Here were put the skis on and headed back to the couloir.  Since I led, Jon gave me firsties which briefly brought on some flashbacks of my Scary Ride on Mt. Yale  however today would be nothing like that day and all that was in store was an incredibly long and fast descent down perfect spring snow.  Jon and I hauled ass down this thing and were hooting and hollering the whole way.  It was an incredible descent on an incredible mountain.  We had a blast and now everytime I drive by Twin Lakes I see Mt. Hope with that huge gash of a couloir smiling down at me.  A gift that will never be forgotten.

Author: Collin Tilbe

I'm a Husband and a father. I love food, travel and fitness. My mission in life is "To be free to live life on my terms, while providing value and to kindness to others."

3 thoughts on “Hopeful on Cinco de Mayo

  1. Good work, guys. You think it’s still holding snow? Thinking about getting some on Saturday.

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