Ski season 2013 is upon us here in Colorado as the resorts start opening and the snow starts to fall. This is probably the most snow that I have seen fall for this time of year and hopefully this is just a prelude to another 2010/11 season!
The snow falls and I had to scratch the itch and so after talking to Mike Fitzpatrick we decided to bail on some Lincoln ice climbing and attempt to get an October run down Tuning Fork.
After working my grave yard shift Mike picks me up from DV and off to Bakersville we go. We were able to drive all the way to Grizzly Gulch Rd, romping Fitz's yota through a couple inches of snow, ice, and mud until we were halted by a downed tree. So we grabbed our gear and started skinning to the clearing near 11,200ft. From here we could see our intended route, Tuning Fork.
Super early season snowpack coupled with last weeks wind event leads to what you see here. With that being said, from the looks of it there is still a chance that its ski-able. So on up we continued and planned on the assessing the snowpack as we went. The snow seemed pretty good to start but about half way up the semi-steep slope that guards the couloir we found a good test slope do dig our fist pit. With about a 3.5ft deep pit we found a fairly reactive slab on a weak layer of facets about foot and a half down . We had results like CT15X2 Q2 and ECTP16. So not quite a red flag just yet but we were now especially keeping an eye out. With our ongoing assessments we planned on continuing up to the base of the couloir to evaluate the snow once again. We dug a couple more pits to find an even more unstable snowpack and it was at that point that we decided that unfortunately, skiing this line was not in our best interests for the day. Live to ski another day because hey, its only October!! Cheers to an epic winter!