TR: Atlantic Peak Ski, West Couloirs (13 May 2015)

After skiing Tweto the day be for, I rendezvoused with Natalie, who was up for joining Matt and I for another ski. This time our goal was Fletcher Mountain. However, a once promising forecast turned south on us as the day came closer. We woke up to clouds, and hoped that they would break as the day moved on.

We headed up Mayflower Gulch and enjoyed the scenes from the Boston Mine Camp.
Mayflower Gulch, Boston Mine Camp

Views from Boston Mine Camp in Mayflower Gulch.

Instead of lifting, thought, the clouds just socked in more.
Views from Boston Mine


It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times. CO BC Skiing May 2015

We’re on a broken record here, but so is the weather. For the past month or so, it seems to snow every single day. And while this sounds great for skiing, the snow is falling with some asterisks. For one, the snow line has been high- meaning the good snow is above at least 11,000′, if not 12,000′. For another, all this snow and cloud cover have been keeping things a bit warm for a good solid freeze at night, so at times the avalanche danger has been somewhat high. But the real kicker has been the visibility- with all the good snow above treeline, it sure is nice to have sun, not fog, for the descent. But like I said, it snows every day, or at least it’s cloudy.

So, as they say in the Pacific Northwest, BC, and Alaska, we’ve been window shopping this May. All you can do is hope the sun peeks out for a few minutes- in which case the skiing has been tough to beat. The thing with window shopping is that it’s tough to put to much effort into it- no one wants to slog and suffer for hours just to get shut down. When the sun finally does come out, it’s going to be fun- with huge snowpacks up high.

Yesterday, I wanted to keep it really simple- which meant a quick skin up the ski are to ski the Headwall, with Chris Miller and Alex Reidman. The storm clouds rolled in like clockwork, even producing some lightning and thunder.
Chris Miller ascending Crested Butte

The Headwall looked smoother than it ever is, with the moguls of the lift-accessed ski season long since buried. Personally, I’d place it as some of the best conditions I’ve skied it in (Or maybe it was just that I was skiing it with brand new Dynafit-free skis).
Crested butte Headwall


14er TBT: San Luis Peak (28 May 2007)

This is part of an ongoing series re-telling Brittany’s fourteener-skiing story. Look for the reports every Thursday, as part of a Throwback Thursday theme.

We were on a roll during Memorial Day weekend, 2007. We were trying to ski four fourteeners in three days, and make it back to work for Tuesday morning. San Luis was the last one in the series, and the longest day. Below is a modified version of my original trip report for Handies Peak, which would become my 28th fourteener skied.

TR: San Luis Peak (14,014′) 5-28-2007
Frank, Brittany, Jordan White

After hitting up Sunshine and Redcloud on Saturday and Handies on Sunday, we packed up our camp and headed down to Lake City to stay with jcwhite’s grandparents who were visiting from Texas, staying in their family cabin. Things in Lake City were pretty slow with their season just starting. At least it wasn’t as bad as when we came here in April and couldn’t find a restaurant that was open!

The wake-up call was at 3 am on this Monday morning. We drove toward Creede, which took us about an hour from Lake City. We went over some amazing passes, but I was barely even awake to notice :frown: We arrived at Creede. still in the dark. But as we began taking a dirt road that goes up about 7 miles to the Equity Mine, the light of the day slowly brought us back to life.

After messing around with our packs for awhile, we began hiking around 6:15 am. We followed the Willow Creek road north from the Equity Mine (at 11,090′) for a couple of miles. When hiking through the willowed area of the valley I saw lots of evidence of moose. I didn’t think that moose lived in the San Juans- I usually think about them being more north toward Fraser and Steamboat, but evidently they were reintroduced here. I think they are doing pretty well here as there were moose droppings and tracks everywhere.

We then took a right turn NE heading toward a saddle.
Hiking to go backcountry skiing on San Luis

Looking back down at Willow Creek valley.
Willow Creek Valley near San Luis Peak.

I was moving slow. I was so tired from too many mornings of waking up early, lack of sleep and being sick earlier in the week. Finally we reached the saddle at 12,300 ft and got a good view of San Luis.
San Luis Peak

A closer look revealed that our intented line, the Yawner Gullies, were indeed filled with snow.
Backcountry skiing on San Luis Peak, Yawner Gullies


TR: Mount Tweto (12 May 2015)

Mount Tweto is one of those lesser known peaks of Colorado’s fantastic Mosquito Range. Tucked behind Democrat and Arkansas, and in the shadows of Buckskin, it tends to be overlooked. But, access is easy, the lines are good, and I was eager to check out this peak.

Weather windows have been extremely difficult to find this spring. If it’s sunny for a few hours, you’d better go for it, because the next time you see the sun could be in another week or more. That’s what was in store for Tuesday morning. I knew we had to jump on it. And I was able to persuade my friend Matt Kamper to join me on this mid-week adventure.

Though the approach is nearly 4 miles, the terrain allows for fast skinning. Still, we were happy to lay our eyes on Mount Tweto under bluebird skies.
Mount Tweto

Rather than ascending the peak itself, we climbed on to a saddle to gain a ridge to the looker’s right. This allowed for some wonderful views of the ski lines Tweto had to offer.
Mount Tweto ski slopes!

Matt Kamper gaining the ridge, with Democrat behind.
Matt Kamper backcountry skiing on Mount Tweto.


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