Our four day ski mountaineering camp this April was a total success, with great ski conditions,and green light avalanche hazard. We began the trip with a day up at Red Mountain Pass, skiing into Prospect basin and ending the day with the classic decent from the summit of Red Mountain 3 into Champion Basin. This day was mostly to cover basic touring skills before heading into Yankee Boy Basin, for larger objectives.
The next day we skinned up into Yankee Boy, set up camp and headed for a north facing coulior on Stony Peak. We opted to drop in from the top, as the snow remained so cold on north faces that booting up would have been a physical endeavor, to say the least. The line was aesthetic and skied well with shin deep powder, high rock walls, minimal sluffing and only one rocky section,providing some teachable moments on our survival ski navigation (scraping down rock with an improvised arm wrap).
Our next day involved skiing off of the summit of Mount Sneffels, Ouray’s local 14er and the crown of the San Juans. the first group skied on one of the Birthday Chutes and the others skied down our ascent route back to Lavender Col. It was great skiing, and to top it off, we logged 800 more vertical on a creamy corn covered knoll above camp.
The final day we headed to Cross Coulior on Mendota Peak, another excelllent hallway line that yielded some cold soft snow. It was a great trip and a big thanks to Duncan, Alex, Warren and Ilan, it was a pleasure skiing with you all.
Dave Ahrens and Gary Falk
Check out these inspiring shots!