Peak(s):  Clinton Peak  -  13,857 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,293 feet
Wheeler Mountain  -  13,690 feet
North Star Mountain  -  13,614 feet
Atlantic Peak  -  13,841 feet
Quandary Peak  -  14,272 feet
Date Posted:  02/23/2014
Date Climbed:   05/31/2013
Author:  joelmpaula
 Spring skiing 2013   

I am too lazy to write a trip report about all of the mountains I skied this year. so i wrote a trip report for a few of the peaks I skied in the spring of 2013. My wife was pregnant with our first child, so this gave me a little extra motivation to get outside. Thanks to good weather, a lot of fired up ski partners, and my understanding wife, I was able to climb a lot. I posted a slideshow of the highlights of the spring.

Date: May 31, 2013
Peaks: Clinton Peak 13,875' (East Face) and Mt. Lincoln 14,286' (East and North Faces)
Vertical: 5,000'
Mileage: 11 miles
Trail Head: Montgomery Reservoir
Partners: Solo

The plan for the day was to meet my friends at the Montgomery Reservoir and ski Clinton and Lincoln. My friends could not find a good place to camp at the trailhead because there were "No overnight parking" signs all over the parking lot. They went to the other side of the range to ski Drift Peak (13,900') instead. I really wanted to ski Clinton and Lincoln so I went solo. I have passed by Clinton Peak three times on the way to ski Traver Peak (13,852'). Traver Peak is a great ski mid winter because it holds good snow and it is a steady 30 degrees from the summit to the basin. I drove down to the trailhead the night before and slept in my Subaru. At a little after 5 am I left the car in hiking boots with skis on my back. The road up to Wheeler Lake is pretty bad. There are massive water puddles on the road with climber trails on the side of the road. The trails on the side are not very wide with all of the trees and bushes, not a lot of fun with skis and boots on your back. The Ten Mile and Mosquito range had received 6 to 8 inches of snow a few days before. I transition to skins at 11,500'. At 7 am I was at the base of the East shoot. Skis went back on to my back and crampons went on my boots. It took 1 hour to climb the chute. When I was almost to the top, rollerballs began to come down the face- never a good sign. I topped out on the summit at 8 am. I switched over to skis and took a few pictures of Democrat's North face and Mt. Lincoln's North face. At 8:30, I started to ski. I skied a dozen turns to the top of the chute and made a hard ski cut. The face sloughed about 6 inches deep. This was not what I wanted to see. Instead of skiing the chute, I chose to ski the skiers right face, a more safe option. I skied as far as I could to the other side of the valley to the base of Mt. Lincoln's North face. My skis went on my back, and I had my ax in hand. This Climb is 2,500 feet from the valley floor. The North face of Lincoln does not see a lot of traffic. The first people I saw all day were on the summit ridge. They had come from Kite Lake TH. The climb took me three hours. I wanted a summit descent, but there was not continuous snow down the North face. I clicked in to my skis and skied down the East face of Lincoln for about 400 feet. Then it was time to climb back to the summit and hike down the ridge to the top of the North face. I started skiing the north face at 1:30pm. The snow was perfect corn from the top of the line to the valley floor. The snow was supportive enough to skate back to the dry road. I was back at the car at 3:30pm.

Date: 6/1/2013
Peaks: Wheeler Mountain 13, 690' (North face) and North Star Mtn 13,614' (North couloir)
Vertical: 3,500'
Mileage: 6 miles
Trail Head: Blue Lakes
Partners: Mike Hood and Justin McCarty

I left Montgomery Reservoir and made my way over the Pass to the Blue Lakes Trail Head to meet Mike where he was hanging out and grilling some food. You can see Wheeler's massive North face from the trailhead. There were 2 ski tracks from that day that you could clearly see from our cars. We talked about our plan for the next day. The other day I talked to Fritz Sperry (author of the book Making Turns in the Ten Mile- Mosquito Range) about skiing Wheeler Peak. (A great book if you do not have it already.) He told me even though the line is North-facing that it gets early sun hit, and even though the line is only 1600 vertical feet to the basin, it takes a while to climb. Justin got to the trailhead just before we went to bed and we set our alarms for 3 am. The group started walking at 4:20 am, a little later then we had planned. We walked in hiking boots for a mile then stashed our shoes in some small trees and started skinning. At 5:40am we made it to the first pitch of the North face of Wheeler. Skis and boards went on our backs and crampons went on our boots. We boot packed up the very large apron to the first crux. I took the lead from the bottom of the first crux to the summit. The climbing from the first crux to the second crux was 45 to 50 degrees. The couloir to the skier's left was melted out so we climbed the couloir to the skier's right. The climbing above the second crux was very intense. The slope was 55 degrees over massive exposure. The hardest part of the climb was the traverse from the couloir to the top of the North face. This was without a doubt the steepest, most exposed climb I have ever done. I topped out 20 minutes before the rest of the crew. I took some pictures of them on the top part of the climb and got ready to ski. The boys got to the top and agreed about how scary the top of the climb was. As we prepared to drop in, about 8:20 am, I asked if anyone would like to go first. We looked at each other for a second, and then Mike said he would go first. He slowly made his way onto the very steep North face, did a jump turn, and traversed to the top of the couloir. He made a few more turns and stopped at the top of the first crux. It was my turn. I followed Mike's line onto the face, made a single jump turn, and then traversed to the top of the couloir. I made a few jump turns on the 55-degree slope and stopped next to Mike to wait for Justin. Justin made his way down to us. Although Mike was encouraging him to make turns on the steep slope, he was not feeling it because of how long his split board was. He decided to go for it and rode down to use with a smile on his face. The first crux on the way down was 50 degrees with a few large rocks sticking up here and there. There still was plenty of room to make slow jump turns, as Mike demonstrated- making jump turns a foot or so off of the snow. We made are way down to the second crux witch was more rocky then the first crux. To get through this crux was just a steep traverse to the top of the apron. We rode to the basin and high-fived upon each person's arrival. It was 9 am. This was the steepest and most exposed mountain any of us had ever skied. I was eyeing the 12 or so North-facing couloirs on North Star Mountain. The snow had not softened up yet, but Mike called it a day. Justin and I switched over to crampons and took out our axes. We started the climb at 10 am. Justin and I climbed the Polaris Couloir. There were two cruxes that were not skiable. We topped out on the summit and walked East on the ridge to find another line. Looking up from the bottom it looked like all of the couloirs went to the ridge. However, we could not tell from the top, so we went back to the summit- over to the top of the couloir to skier's left of the Polaris Couloir. I dropped in at 12:17 PM and the snow was perfect corn. We took turns and traded taking pictures down the line. Justin and I got back to the car a little before 2 pm.

Date: 6/2/2013
Peaks: Atlantic Peak 13,814' (V Couloir) and Quandry Peak 14,265' (North face)
Vertical: 5,500'
Mileage: 11 miles
Trail Head: McCullough Gulch
Partner: Mark Koelker and Max the Dog

I drove to McCullough Gulch to camp in my Subaru for a third night. It was nice to do so many peaks so close to each other. This was a nice change from skiing a peak then driving an hour or two to the next TH. Mark and I started walking a little before 5 am. This was a little later then I wanted to start but we are both pretty fast so it was okay in the long run. I started the day in ski boots and did not bring trail shoes- big mistake. The first half-mile of trail was snow, but then it was dry trail for over a mile. Nothing like walking in ski boots on a dry trail... We followed the trail in until we hit the small cliffs below the beaver ponds. The cliffs were difficult to climb and took a little while. Once we were over the cliffs, we made good time across the flats to the base of Atlantic Peak. We decided to hit the low point on the ridge between Atlantic Peak and Pacific Peak. Mark and I hiked to a point a few hundred feet from the ridge, and then skinned the East face to the summit of Atlantic Peak. We were on the summit at 8 am and spent some time soaking in the views and taking pictures. We dropped in at 8:40 am to perfect corn right off the summit. Mark and I were able to ski all the way to the base of the north face of Quandry Peak at 9:15 am. After a short break we began climbing. The Climb to the summit seemed like it took forever. We got to the summit at 11:20 am. There was no one on the summit or the standard route. Quandry Peak to ourselves in June, Not a bad day. At noon we dropped in to more great snow and a lot more fun turns. We were able to ski to the right of the cliffs back down to the dry summer trail. On the way out we saw a few day hikers that looked at us like we had to heads for skiing in June but I think the joke was on them. We made it back to the TH at 1:35 PM. Mark and I parted ways and I was off to ski some more peaks.

A special thanks to Kat Paula, Lily Paula, Ben Koelker, Mark Koelker, Ben Jordan, Sam Jordan, Joe Otremba, Elliotl Halverson, Nate Goodman, Zach Taylor, Andy Mention, Fritz sperry, Wayne Bolte, Christina Avena, Mike Hood, Teal Potter, Jordan White, Lou Dawson, Chris Davenport and Max Dynafit Paula.

Ski Decent Resume 2013

Date, Peak, Elevation, TH, Mileage, Vertical, Aspect or Line

4/4 Grouse Mt, 12799, Top of Beaver Creek, 8 miles, 3000, North Face
4/6 Buffalo Mt, 12777, Buffalo Cabin TR, 5.25 miles, 3000, Silver Couloir
4/11 Solitude Point 12395, Pitkin Creek, 9 miles, 4000 Southwest
4/24 Mellenthin, 12645, Geyser Pass Rd, 6.5 miles, 6000, North Face
4/25 Tuk No 12000, Geyser Pass Rd, 6.5 miles, 5000, North Face
4/26 El Pinche, 12000, Geyser Pass Rd, 3 miles, 1,500, West Face
4/26 Tuk No, 12000, Geyser Pass Rd, 6.5 miles, 4,500 South East Face
4/27 Mt. Bierstadt, 14,060, Guanella Pass winter Closure, 13 miles, 3,500, West Face
5/2 Deming Peak, 12902, Willow Creek, 13 miles, 4000 ,Deming Drop
5/2 Buffalo Mt, 12777, Willow Creek, 6 miles, 3000, Caldera
5/5 Solitude PT, 12620, Pitkin Creek, 10 miles, 4,500 South West Couloir
5/7 Traver Peak, 13852, Montgomery Reservoir, 11 miles 3,200, Southeast face
5/11 Flattop Mt, 11,800, Bear Lake, 5 miles, 1,500 Dragons Tail Couloir
5/15 Mt. Democrat, 14,148, Montgomery Reservoir, 9 miles, 3000, North Face.
5/16 Aetna Peak, 13,745, Boss Lake, 9 miles, 4,800 Grand Couloir
5/17 Mt. Shavano 14,229, Blanks Cabin Trail, 9.25 miles 4,600 East Ridge to Angel
5/23 Savage Peak 13,139, Missouri lakes, 13 miles, 4000 Northeast Face
5/24 Clinton Peak 13,875, Climax Mine, 8 miles, 3000, North Face
5/25 Pacific Peak 13,950, Mayflower Gulch, 4 miles 3000, Hawaii Couloirs
5/25 Crystal Peak 13,852 Mayflower Gulch, 6 miles, 2000 North Face
5/26 Fletcher Peak 13,951, Mayflower Gulch, 6 miles, 2800, Northeast Couloirs
5/26 Drift Peak 13,900 Mayflower Gulch, 2 miles, 1,500, North face
5/31 Clinton Peak 13852, Montgomery Reservoir, 9 miles, 3,200, East Face
5/31 Mt Lincoln 14,172, Montgomery Reservoir, 4 miles, 3,500, East Face and North Face.
6/1 Wheeler Peak 13,690, Blue Lakes, 4 miles, 1,850, North Face
6/1 North Star Mt, 13,614, Blue Lakes, 2 Miles, 1,800, North Couloir
6/2 Atlantic Peak 13,814, McCullough Gulch, 5.7 miles, 2,700, East Couloirs
6/2 Quandary Peak 14,265, McCullough Gulch, 2 miles, 1,800, North Gully
6/3 Torreys Peak 14,267, Stevens Gulch, 10 Miles, 4000, saddle to Grays.
6/3 Grays Peak 14,270, Stevens Gulch, 1 mile, 500, North Face
6/7 Point 11,600, Bighorn Creek, 8 miles, 3000, North Face
6/6 Mt. Democrat 14,148 Kite Lake, 5 miles, 4000 North Face
6/8 Mt. Democrat 14,148 Kite Lake, 4 miles 2,400 Emma Chutes
6/8 Mt. Buckskin 13,865, Kite Lake, 2 miles, 1000, North Face
6/9 Torreys Peak 14,267 Grizzly Gulch, 9 miles, 4,500, Emperor Couloir
6/23 Mt Of The Holy Cross, Half Moon Creek, 19 Miles, 7,700, Cross Couloir and West Face
6/25 Savage Peak 13,139, Missouri Lakes, 13 miles, 4000, Savage Couloir
7/3 Atlantic Peak 13,814, McCullough Gulch, 5.7 miles, 2,700 East Couloir

38 lines skied, 124,050 vertical feet, 270.4 miles

The link to the slide show
Music by
Imagine Dragons, Radioactive
Wolfmother, Joker and the Thief
Fatboyslim, Brimful of Asha

Comments or Questions
02/25/2014 03:40
Amazing season. Congrats!

do you work?
02/25/2014 15:24
just wondering.

Impressive list you compiled from a great late season spring of 2013. I like how you went back for Savage and skied the couloir. Emperor was also skiing great right around when you hit it last spring as well. Deming and Buffalo's Caldera in the same day is admirable. Nice work.

Yes I have to work like everyone else
02/26/2014 07:10
I am a chef in Edwards. My restaurant is closed from the third week of April to the third week of May prime time to ski peaks. Skied Deming in knee deep pow. We were going to ski the silver but the ridge was going to take to long to get to the top of the silver. Emperor is one of the better lines I skied all spring. 3100 vert of great skiing. Let's get out some time.

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