Gary Fondl hit me up asking if I were interested in a sunset tour at the tunnel. Of course i was down and it sounded like a great idea to me and so we met in the west side of the tunnel at about 6:30, gathered out gear and set off up the mountain. Enjoy the iphone pics!
About 20 minutes into the hike Gary's buddy Kihm Beyer came strolling up the hillside. Great minds must think alike! After a quick safety briefing we all three found ourselves eventually on top of our intended line, soaking in the beauty that surrounds us...
We decided to hang out for about 10-15 minutes until about 8PM to let the sun drop a little lower for some great sunset lighting. We then found ourselves skiing great corn turns all the way back to the trucks for a most excellent sunset ski tour! Great meeting you and hope to get out with you again Kihm!!
I was in need of a good day of skiing in light of recent events that myself and co-workers had experienced. I call up Joe Otremba and Mark Koelker and they were on board for a good ski tour. We tossed around ideas and eventually landed on the idea of skiing Grizzly Couloir and then re-ascend and ski SFB back to the cars. And so we met across from the CDOT building and were on trail by about 6:30. We were able to skin until about 100yds from the ridge near the saddle and from there hiked up to Grizzly D summit. A quick ascent we were on summit by 8am. From there we hung out for about an hour before we started on down to the entrance of Grizzly Couloir.
Once we reached the top of the couloir we were able to get a good look down. There wasn't much of a cornice anymore but I decided to down-climb in from skiers right so that I could get in and assess the snowpack. Sure enough we were still a little bit too early and the snow was firm. I slowly made my way down and Joe followed. We then hung out for another 10min or so and then finally decided to drop to try and have time to still link in SFB. Mark dropped in just skiers right of the belly at about 60 degrees or so and we all proceeded to shred. The snow wasn't the greatest with a mixture of firm, sun-cupped, and runnel but as always still good to get out and get some turns on in a sweet line!
We then started to wrap back around to gain the ridge again at the saddle below Daves' Wave.
Upon reaching the saddle Mark and Joe realized that they wouldn't have time to link up SFB and so they opted to ride Dave's Wave back to the car. I was really wanting to link the two lines so I decided to head off towards Black Mountain solo-dolo. It's always a different experience doing things in solo that's forsure!
Once on the Black Mountain ridge I started to traverse my way over to SFB. I have done this traverse already a few times but for some reason this time I decided to take a different route. This in return made my traverse unintentionally a lot spicier of a climb and at one point I almost turned around. I ended up having to down-climb some sketchiness and then climb up a couple of steep FIRM snow pitches without my crampons or ice axe. Perseverance finally paid through and I eventually found myself on top of my intended line. *sigh* -Lesson learned...always bring your crampons and axe for spring/summer ski mountaineering!
Once strapped in I dropped in at about 12:30 into great corn snow all the way down. This time of year the line seemed to be a bit skinnier than usual??
Back to the car a little after 1pm. A great 6 hour ski tour especially for June 10th! This ski season has rocked!!