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telemarker

[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

 

colne2.jpg

 

Kyle looking small

 

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

 

colne18.jpg

 

So clear out today...

 

colne13.jpg

 

Will downclimbing off Colchuck's Summit

 

colne19.jpg

 

Traversing over to the NE Couloir entrance

 

colne20.jpg

 

Upper NE Couloir

 

colne22.jpg

 

colne25.jpg

 

colne27.jpg

 

Things start to get tight

 

colne28.jpg

Edited by telemarker

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colne25.jpg

 

SWEET image!! Great stuff John! Another Top notch trip and report! :tup:

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Mr. Telemarker,

 

Your trip reports are always awesome. Nice one, yet again.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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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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Piston: we put in a nice trail up to the lake. There were a couple large, natural release slides that occured a day or two before we got up there. Other than those, the snow was very stable. You should be fine with snowshoes!

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