The skiing on Bonita Peak that morning was so good, and the breeze was keeping the snow from getting too soft. So, we decided there was more skiing to be done that day. The west-facing lines on Hurricane Peak seemed like the next best choice!
The south east side of Hurricane Peak
Climbing Hurricane with Bonita Peak behind.
We found that climbing the snow gullies up Hurricane Peak was easy.
Josh and Frank approaching the summit.
After having a fun day backcountry skiing at Clear Lake, we were eager to check out what else the San Juans held in store. So, on this Friday morning, we found ourselves standing at the bottom of Storm Peak in Velocity Basin. We were hoping that these north-facing lines had not fallen prone to the trend of other north facing couloirs we’d seen in the last week – slid out and runneled from the heat and rain. But, alas, our hopes would not be the truth. So, we turned around with our tails between our legs, in search of a plan B.
We followed the snow. The white and smooth snow that is. And that led us to Bonita Peak.
The good thing about the San Juans in the spring is the ease of access. This road got us pretty high, and it was just a short walk to continous snow.
It was a beautiful morning. Josh skinning in the distance with the various Red Mountains behind.
The snow on Bonita still looked great on our climb up the peak.
The ski season was still going strong, so Brittany and I started talking about new places to check out. We had heard about Clear Lake in the San Juans near Silverton from some friends. As is often the case in the San Juans, access looked good and the basin looked like it would have lots of choices, so that’s where we headed, along with Josh and Natalie. Some downed trees blocked the road a little lower than we had hoped, but we still found ourselves at treeline before we knew it. We had a great view of Ice Lakes basin along the way:
We were hoping to ski some of the couloirs in the area, but the recent heat and rains created huge runnels and we had to shift plans.
The southern facing slopes above the lake on a subpeak of South Lookout Peak looked smooth and fun as a consolation prize.:
When the nearly daily snowfall of May finally began to clear, the mountains of Colorado were as caked as they’ve been anytime in recent memory. The higher you went, the better the snow was. And best of all, no dust! Searching for a fun line with great access, Brittany and I decided on the North face of Fletcher Mountain. While slides covered nearly every aspect, a result of the sun finally peaking out after a month of snow, there was still plenty of smooth snow on a fun line on Fletcher.
Drift was looking good, too: