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Kyle M

[TR] Colfax Peak - Cosley Houston 12/09/2019

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Trip: Colfax Peak - Cosley Houston

Trip Date: 12/09/2019

Trip Report:

Andrew Dyer and I boarded the last car on the Cosley Houston train this fall and climbed it on a beautiful December day. The route was in good shape, it seemed. 60m pitch of easy ice and snow to the crux. The crux was probably 15 feet of near vertical and then 15-20 feet of vertical to slightly overhung, pretty real for an ice newb like me. It was definitely the hardest lead of my life. I played it safe and placed 6 screws, increasing the pump greatly but at least I felt safer. I stopped a few feet short of the end of the ice so I could build a solid belay with screws. We bypassed the second ice crux, instead taking AI2 to the right. Overall, the snow conditions we quite good on the route, boot top pow with firm snice beneath.

The descent down the Coleman was a little tricky. We had to go far skier's right to find some key bridges across some huge crevasses. Skis from 8000 ft down to the Heliotrope Trail made things rather pleasant. My first turns of the season were pow turns!

Thanks to Andrew for a rad day in the alpine. It took us 12 hours, but we definitely lost time booting in the pow, my super slow crux lead, and wandering down the Coleman, looking for bridges. Obviously, conditions will be changing very rapidly with the storm currently, but at least we found no real signs of instability up there. Let the snow begin!

https://climberkyle.com/2019/12/13/colfax-peak-cosley-houston-wi4/PC090134.thumb.JPG.38103d5d6b3be53df3fd4899a4f9bd4b.JPG

Colfax, Polish route looks good to go.

PC090156.thumb.JPG.ea069182906d8f0b0a47bb85a32b3d8d.JPG

That infamous pillar.

PC090172.thumb.JPG.50d8869cd900ee092e3ca6fe59ce32eb.JPG

Snowfield above the crux.

PC090205.thumb.JPG.a7516b5726f5f9e95ef8b087636b50b6.JPG

Final steps, Lincoln in the background.

PC090275.thumb.JPG.b574b56b6cd338fc9492bb704f2bb47e.JPG

Sunset pow! Much wow!

 

Gear Notes:
10 screws, 60 m single rope. I would do a 60 m twin rope next time and just double it over for the crux.

Approach Notes:
Hiked to the top of the Hogsback, skinned to 8000 ft, booted to the start of the route. It would definitely not be worth it to carry skis over at this moment, too many zig zags and ups and downs on the descent.
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