Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,318 feet
Date Posted:  02/18/2009
Modified:  12/03/2009
Date Climbed:   02/15/2009
Author:  doumall
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 Uncompahgre Winter Summit Ski   

2-15-09 Jordan White's Birthday
Approach using Nellie Creek Road
Climb of South Face/Ridge
Ski Decent of South Face
5100 vert
16 miles

Crew: JCWhite, Maverick Manley, Derek, doumall


Finding peaks left on my list which are suitable for a summit ski has been tough this winter. After climbing to 13,800' on the Needle a few weeks ago and finding the crux dry, I set my eyes on Uncompahgre knowing the San Juans were scheduled for some heavy and wet. Maybe Mother Nature would stick some white on that wind blasted blob?
The morning was cold and got colder as we ascended. The trail was broken to the 4WD trailhead where 8 inches of fresh were stomped into line.

Skin Track:
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Photo: doumall

The breaking was short lived. Once above treeline, we encountered wind blasted snowpack and a glowing 14k high block.

Uncompahgre from the SE:
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Photo: doumall

Wide open:
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Photo: doumall

The view of the south face begged the question: Is it in?

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Ski: Prakash Photo: doumall

Unfortunately the forecast snow totals were way to optimistic and a recent wind event brought this beast back to typical boney form. Booting commenced to gain the South Ridge which lent a view of the Northern San Juan and a friendly wrap around into the West Gullies? They held snow!

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Photo: doumall

There was 40' of booting required over bare scree around the corner. Above the cliffs we found more snow!

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Photo: doumall

A short walk to the summit ended the up. The summit block stirred from its winter slumber to ask: "Are you some sort of racing team?"

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Photo: Summit Block

After a nice nap Jordan and I began the ski as Prakash and Derek booted down to a deeper snowpack. There was some Davenporting taking place off the flat top on this fine winter morning.

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Ski: Jordan Photo: doumall

We linked to the snowfields above the south cliffs by skiing through the grass on the lower left side of this photo.

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Ski: Jordan Photo: doumall

We did get to make some turns up here.

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Ski: domuall Photo: Jordan

We then had to remove the sticks for 40' of vertical down the top of the furthest South of the West gullies. Skiing commenced on the West side and didn't cease until the car.

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Ski: doumall Photo: Jordan

We hooked a left out onto the South face beneath the cliffs to ski a more continuous and steeper strip of snow through the shark tank.

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Ski: doumall and Derek Photo: Jordan

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Ski: doumall Photo: Derek

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Ski: Derek Photo: doumall

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Ski: Jordan Photo: doumall

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Ski: doumall Photo: Jordan

Finally we had beautiful breakable crust to play in.

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Ski: Prakash Photo: doumall

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Ski: Jordan and Derek Photo: doumall

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Ski: doumall Photo: Jordan

And we all got a bit of air:

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Ski: Derek Photo: Jordan

Thanks for making this trip happen the way it did Jordan. Good to get up top with you again Prakash. Derek, nice meeting you. A parting quote from a grizzly old man sitting in a Lake City bar: "Back in my day, we used to ski that Uncompahgre Peak backwards in the dark cuz it was easy... I tell hhyou hhwhat!"

Transparency is one of my project themes:

Red = Davenporting
Blue = skiing
Green = booting

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Photo: Jordan, taken 1-17-09

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Photo: Jordan, taken 1-17-09



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23


Comments or Questions
BillMiddlebrook
User
Great job!
02/19/2009 01:10
Looked fun! Was the 4WD road in shape for a sled.


maverick_manley
User
you‘re welcome...
02/19/2009 16:00
for comedy time. There‘ll be many more of those homie, I taell hyoou hwhat!


doumall
User
Thanks for the comments guys
02/19/2009 16:47
The road should be an easy snowmobile barring several feet of fresh. This was number 42 of 58. Your skiing was vastly improved at Monarch after dealing with those alpine conditions Prakash. A healthy mix or resort and bc may be best for your progression?


doumall
User
I suggest waiting a bit.
02/19/2009 17:09
Although those marked pics are from mid January and there is a slightly more continous line from the summit now, I would wait until some heavy low wind March storms improve the descent. A few people have been able to ski continous snow through the furthest west of the south facing chutes on heavy snow years. I feel ya though if you just go get it, there arent many choices up high right now


Jcwhite
User
Not quite
02/20/2009 15:20
A powder day. Fun to get out. I tuned my skis last night...gross. Good getting out with everyone. What‘s next?


hippitahoppita
User
Nice eh...
02/22/2009 18:29
Looked like a good time. I‘m sure you enjoyed the raw-men on the summit.


benners
User
I was waiting for the next TR from you Joe . . .
11/30/2010 17:28
and it didn't disappoint. Glad you found some, if not the Sangres then the San Juans were evidently the place to look. Excellent report fellas and congrads on getting . . . number 43 is it now?? I can't wait to see what else the spring snow season has in store for you, keep em comin'! Oh and Jordan, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Toodles.


jbchalk
User
Nice day fellas
02/05/2011 00:22
Looks like it was a fine day, guys...wish I could been there. Great pics, Doumall.


Carl
User
Another solid trip report!
05/02/2011 14:23
Awesome. I didn‘t imagine a summit descent was in the cards right now. Those pics with the route drawn out are great. Very useful for someone planning to ski this peak. Thanks!!!

Bill - If you need a partner PM me



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