Peak(s):  Bard Peak  -  13,641 feet
Date Posted:  06/12/2015
Date Climbed:   06/09/2015
Author:  Goat9
 Solitude on Bard Peak   

I was hoping to get this trip report up earlier, but the week has been busy!

I did a pre-work solo climb-and-ski-climb-and-ski of Bard Peak on Tuesday. I launched from the Bakersville parking area and bushwhacked up the south side of Bard to find the thin trail leading to the South Slopes. The mushy snow in the forest between 10,500' and 11,000' was challenging to navigate in. I decided to walk up the creek itself as it provided a more stable route and the ski boots are waterproof. That worked well until I hooked a tree branch and took a face dive into the creek! Oh, well. At least it is Colorado and things dry fast. I skinned from there through the mush and then accessed the South Slopes aka "Shakespeare".

The bristlecone and limber pine forest near tree line in this area is spectacular. I suspect that this is an area that is not frequently visited by people. I was able to climb to the summit without skis on. The snow was surprisingly frozen and the booting was efficient. No need for crampons, and the slopes are not steep.

The summit of Bard Peak has amazing views of the Stevens Gulch Peaks. Grays and Torreys have skiable lines from the summits right now.

I skied Bard's East Slopes heading towards Empire. The corn was great! I have been getting my ass kicked this spring in the Mayuary winter. There have been a lot of gray days with poor visibility, crusts on top of slush, and I even got electrocuted in a storm on Mt. Machebeuf. I was so excited to hit big corn ski turns with sunshine! I skied to the bottom of the East Slopes and then skinned back up Bard Peak using the east Ridge. A quick traverse below the summit brought me back to the South Slopes / Shakespeare and I skied down from there and found the old trail all the way to the chain up pull off on I-70. Then to work!

Here is some more info on Bard Peak and the ski descents:

This picture is from spring 2014, but shows the broad South Slopes of Bard (Right) and Parnassus (Left).

There is a stunning view of Grays and Torreys from the summit of Bard.

The Northeast Face of Parnassus.

A vertebrae on the slopes of Bard Peak.

Climbing back up Bard for more.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5

Comments or Questions
Dave B
06/12/2015 18:26
We tried for a ski of Bard on Wednesday but approached via Bard Creek. Schwacking through waist deep slush with skis and boots on the pack was "fun". Cloudy skies and zero freeze the night before had us retreating from an iffy traverse to gain the eastern face. Beats sitting in the office all day, is what we kept telling ourselves – which it really does.

You got a good website there, it’s a great contribution, keep up the good work!

06/13/2015 13:19
Thanks, Dave B! How was the Bard Creek Road in terms of 4–wheeling and maneuvering?

Dave B
Not too bad,
06/14/2015 07:03
I’ve got minimal off–road driving experience but had no problem what–so–ever getting my stock Tacoma 4x4 up it. There is an awesome spot about a quarter mile in where you’re looking down on I–70. And I mean down, straight down, from about 1,000 feet up. Turn around is very easy at the trail head.

Need to budget 30–40 minute for those 4 miles of driving though.

06/14/2015 14:42
Nice job getting that done prior to work. Been wanting to ski that face for years.

Is that picture of Grays and Torreys from your day, or is it an old picture?

Grays & Torreys
06/14/2015 17:02
mntfiend – the pic of Grays & Torreys was from Tuesday 6/9

Nice pics
06/14/2015 21:38
Like the pics. Keep the twitter account going!

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