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[TR] Colchuck Peak - NE Couloir Ski 2/28/2010


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Trip: Colchuck Peak - NE Couloir Ski


Date: 2/28/2010


Trip Report:

This was a surprising weekend for the east side. Mission Ridge got 8 inches of snow Thursday/Friday. Chump change for Steven's, but quite a pleasant surprise for the eastern half. So it was no surprise to fine a foot to 15 inches of new snow on the way up to Colchuck. Will and I had ideas, and we finally settled on the NE Couloir given the new snow amounts. Of course, that doesn't really make too much sense...


Kyle Flick and Scott McCallister joined us for Saturday, where we had a nice run up and down the glacier. The place was deserted, and we weren't complaining about it. We tried to scope out our options but weather rolled in so we booked it back to camp.


Sunday, Scott turned back due to a torn hip flexor, so it was left to Will and I to make something of the weekend. Under amazing skies, we reached the top of Colchuck. I don't think I've ever summitted this damn peak in the 12 years I've been running around these hills. Weird. We scoped the best way into the NE Couloir, eventually finding an easy but slippery downclimb.


The first few turns into the upper NE Couloir was actully side slipping on iced up snow. We started out on a more eastern aspect, but the more we traversed over to the north facing slope, the better it got until it was perfect powder for edging. We reached the "mandatory air" over an ice bulge by steep side stepping down a snow fluting over ice. The air was only about a 6 foot drop, and I wouldn't think twice about it in any other situation. However, the landing was still steep, and the exposure below that landing was daunting should you blow it. I was able to ass smear and come to a stop, and Will did the same.


From there, it was continued steep, powdery turns until the couloir pinched off like a lap-band, about the length of my skis. Below that, we were shooting out the exit and enjoying the billowy cruise back to the lake.


On the way up after the clearing storm




Kyle looking small




I like the light in this image, showing Backbone and Serpentine, which usually blend into the face in the summer months.




So clear out today...




Will downclimbing off Colchuck's Summit




Traversing over to the NE Couloir entrance




Upper NE Couloir








Things start to get tight



Edited by telemarker
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Thanks for the TR and great pictures. I think I only saw one picture with avvy sign...the snow must have been pretty consolidated? Would a non-skier need snowshoes for the approach or did you guys make a nice trail for others to follow (and bless your efforts)? I ask because I might be headed up there Friday. Thanks!

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