Backcountry Skiing in Colorado

Skiing and Hiking in the Colorado Backcountry


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Cross Couloir, Mt. Of the Holy Cross (14,005′)

 

Mt. of the Holy Cross smiles, as if to say "you're welcome."

Mt. of the Holy Cross smiles, as if to say “you’re welcome.”

We all have those goals in life that just seem like they’re never going to materialize.  We try and try, yet something always finds a way to thwart our best laid plans.  Then, one day, the clouds part and you see your goal in front of you in all its glory.  For the first time it appears totally attainable and that attainment unfolds almost effortlessly.  For me, this scenario describes my relationship with Mt. of the Holy Cross to a T.

For 5 years I’ve wanted to ski this mountain but it never quite worked out.  No partner…road closed…bad snow year…. and then last year I finally made it to the base of the elusive couloir… only to be shut down in the worst way.

But this year would be different, very different.

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Scary ride on Mt. Yale – 5/17/2010

I feel pretty lucky to be sitting here typing this trip report today.  Yesterday, Jon Jay and I had a pretty scary experience on our tour of Mt. Yale.

Yale is a haul at 14,196 it begs an early start.   I left Denver at 3am to meet up with Jon at the Silver Creek trailhead outside of Buena Vista.  Jon had done some touring the day before and camped out that night with a few others while I opted to sleep in my warm bed and meet him in the morning.

We set off for the 10 mile round trip a little after 7am.  Our start was a little later than planned, but we weren’t too worried since the Silver Creek bowl on Mt. Yale faces north, and we figured the snow would remain cool most of the day.   The plan was to summit by noon, ski the bowl and be back to the trailhead by 3pm.  Needless to say, things did not go as planned. Continue reading