2007 Spring Blog (21 ski days in May/June; last day: June 22)

#20: Fri June 22: Elke Dratch, Ellen Hollinshead, Devon O'Neil, and I skied Orion on Baldy. Conditions were excellent and we had 1700 feet of fine skiing. Because Boreas Pass Road is open the approach was very short indeed.

Thurs June 21: Nothing here, but Aaron Parmet and Andy Dimmen had gone in on Wed to camp by Deluge Lake. They skied from the summit of Grand Traverse Peak, and then climbed the Valhalla ridge to ski a steep couloir into the Rock Creek drainage. The returned to camp via the large saddle between the two peaks. Conditions were reported good.

Wed June 20 Elke Dratch, Ellen Hollinshead, Jeff Bergeron, and I drove to the end of Peru Creek, climbed through the flowers in sneakers to the summit of Grays, and had a fine ski down the Horseshoe face. First tracks on this one, which holds snow late. We did see some tracks on a gully coming down from Edwards.

Sun June 17. Bob Portmann, Jonathan Kriegel, and I skied Grizzly Chute on Grizzly Peal (13998) near Independence Pass. We booted up the chute and that went well, but the descent was very mushy. Still, it was not unsafe, meaning that nothing went very far. General conditions in the chute were pretty bad, but I was thrilled to ski it. We had spotted this in 2004 from Independence Mountain and a 2005 attempt failed, so it was great to knock it off.

Sat June 16. Aaron Parmet, Andy Dimmen, and I drove up Mosquito Gulch, climbed Buckskin (13865) via the S side of Loveland, and skied the direct S Face. Quite good considering how warm it was today. Not much else in the Mosquito area looked good.

Wed June 13: No skiing for me, but Ellen Hollinshead reported very mushy conditions (recent rain, no snow) on the N Face of Wheeler.

#15; Sun June 10: Finally some good skiing. Bob Portmann and I skied Monica's Descent of Clinton on a fine day and with fine corn snow. A party has skied it recently, making it a tad more challenging, but it is was still a fine descent.

Sat June 9. Back to Atlantic with Chet and Jonathan. We skied a steep couloir that goes to the N about 500 feet below the summit. It was somewhat icy. Unpleasant for me. Plus an exit problem at the bottom that I should have remembered from last trip. One virtue of this trip is that we returned to the car staying entirely on the N side of the creek and crossing at the little dam. This would be more efficient for the climb of Atlantic too. Still plenty of snow.

Fri June 8. Climbed to summit of N. Traverse Peak via Bighorn Creek with Dave Bourassa and Mark Cavaliero. A lot of work for not much skiing. The NW Face of the peak, which Mark and I skied, had new snow that sloughed out under our turns. Dave took a more direct line down the W Face. 11 hrs r.t. A lot of work, but the upper valley is beautiful.

Tues June 5. Elke Dratch, Aaron Parmet, and I skied the face of Arkansas that is prominent from the Leadville-Copper Road near the Climax Mine. There was some new snow, so the descent was a little wintry at the top. And just before hitting the car the snow became super punchy. But we were able to ski to within about 50 yards of the dirt road. The coverage in the steep bowl was as good as I have seen it this time of year. This is a shorty: back at car by 10:30.

Mon June 4. Wanted Orion on Baldy, but Boreas Pass Road was still gated. So I just went from town to the top of Peak 9 and skied down. I got lost a bit on descent, but was able to keep my skis on to 10500 and follow "Sawmill" back to the car. The "YouAre Here" signs helped me out. I just learned that the Lincoln road for access to Grizzly (Aspen side of Independence Pass) is now open. And there was a surprise waiting for me: an e-message from Joe Kramarsic who was obviously inspired by all the BIG EYES publicity. He camped out on the Salmon/Willow Lakes trail and climbed the couloir from below (boots and ax), descending Little Red Riding Hood. He commented: " This is a very photogenic and striking line.  As a ski descent in a true couloir it is probably the premier line in Summit County at least from the photos I have seen on various web-sites.  Congratulations to Dave.  From a climbing standpoint it is an easy climb on what looks to be a very intimidating line. Because I could stand up the whole climb I think the angle is closer to 40 degrees. I drove part way up Ute Pass to view the line before climbing. - Joe". Good work, Joe.

Sat June 2. Skied to Traver Peak summit (13860) solo via SE Face. Descended same. Excellent conditions. 2000 feet of turns. Snow felt a little wintry at the very top. Fabulous views of Democrat N Face: All white; no tracks. So this one moves from Wish List to done for #4 new one of the year. Summit Daily News today had a 2-photo spread on the Big Eyes descent.

Mon May 28. Photographed Dave Bourassa's solo descent of What Big Eyes You Have, on East East Red. Conditions were excellent for him. A report appeared in the June 2 Summit Daily News and on TGR at <http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86368>. I had my skis on for about 50 yards (light touring skis). My friends Portmann and Kriegel skied Silverheels N Couloir this day.

Sun May 27. Skied a secret bowl with Ellen, Elke, Scott Toepfer, and Sue King. Best two runs of the year! Now three new lines this year.

Sat May 26. Skied a southern line of Keller with the Bobs Portmann and Salazar. Parked at upper Rock Creek parking lot. Skiing conditions fine. Another new line. Yay. One week later Matt Miller and friends skied a steeper line adjacent to the one we skied. Both teams required seven hours round-trip.

Monday May 21. Skied Little Red Riding Hood on East East Red with Elke. Conditions were excellent.

Sunday May 20. Skied Atlantic's Northwest Passage with Ellen Hollinshead and Bob Portmann. Really primo conditions. Skied car to car. This one was totally off my radar: not even on my Wish List. A great line. Chance meeting with Ellen at the trailhead was a nice bonus, as we have never skied together. And finally a line that was new.

Sat., May 19. Skied Drift with Elke, Bob Portmann, Kim Clark. Skied car to car. Conditions poor. I side-slipped most of it as this is a serious line.

Thursday, May 17. Skied Crystal South Face with Elke. Parked at winter parking lot. Excellent ski conditions. Skied car to car. Seems like it will be a while before one can drive higher.

Thursday May 10. Skied Pettingell South Face with Elke Dratch. Really excellent ski conditions. Skied almost car to car.

Wed, May 9. Skinned to top of Loveland Ski Area.

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