14er TBT: Mount Harvard Ski (17 May 2008)

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.

I began my fourteener-skiing project in 2006, and met Frank quickly after, while looking for partners to help me accomplish my goal. But, when I first asked Frank if he wanted to ski all of Colorado’s fourteeners, he said it wasn’t really a goal of his.

But, then he started skiing them with me. More and more of them. He skied the boring ones like Bross and Sherman. And then all the sudden there was a switch. Frank started skiing fourteeners without me… and I knew he’d changed his mind. My project had become his too, and now he was about to finish. Mount Harvard ended up being Frank’s final fourteener.

So, this post is a tribute to Frank and the partnership we had (and continue to have). I could not have skied all of the Colorado’s fourteeners without having met him, and Frank would not have even begun his project without me. That said, I’ll leave the report in Frank’s words. Below is a slightly modified version of his report for Mount Harvard, which would be Frank’s fourteener finisher, and my 39th fourteener skied.

I’m really not sure what to say. As many of you know, I’ve been skiing a lot of fourteeners the last couple of years, and Mount Harvard ended up being the last. I’m not sure what I feel about that right now, one thing I know for sure is that nothing is “done”- I’ve stillgot so many peaks left to climb and ski, some of them over 14k, some of them not. Another thing I know is that it’s been a heck of a journey.

I’ll end up leaving somebody or something out, so I’ll say this: Thanks to everyone who gave me a place to crash, or posted a TR or answered a pm with helpful beta, or skied a peak with me, or helped in any other way. Thanks to all of you.

“Don’t get me wrong; you won’t see me skiing Bross or Sherman anytime soon.” —That’s what I posted almost 2 years ago to the day, 5-19-08. Of course, about a week later I skied my first peak with Brittany, and the next thing you know, I’m skiing Bross and Sherman (which were actually really fun, like all the 14ers). So that’s how it was for me- I was hitting some of the fun lines here and there, and then all of a sudden I was ticking them off one by one, as fast as I could. So thanks, Brittany, for setting those wheels in motion, I’m sure we’ll be hitting some more of them together real soon :)

Moving on…
We were able to make it to the North Cottonwood trailhead (barely) and we started skinning a little after 5am. We were joined by 2 splitboarders, a tele-er, and a couple of dogs, too. Eventually we got out of the trees and saw the goal for the day (Brittany skinning):

We were able to skin all but the last 20 feet or so. Along the way, I saw these guys:

I figured I should bring something up to the summit to celebrate, it ended up being a Guinness :)


14er TBT: Windom Peak Ski (11 May 2008)

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.

The three fourteeners located Chicago Basin are among some Colorado’s highest peaks that are difficult to access. We accessed them using the Durango-Silverton train, which dropped us off mid-way. We then and hiked miles in to Chicago Basin, with far too much stuff and over too many downed trees from winter avalanche cycles. Frank and I, along with Jarrett Luttrell and Jordan White, set up a camp that would be our home for a few days. After skiing Eolus the day before, our goal was to ski both Sunlight Peak and Windom Peak in one day.

This report begins where the other one left off – after our ski of Sunlight Peak. Below is a slightly modified version of my original trip report for Windom Peak, which would become my 38th fourteener skied.

When we got down to the bottom of the face on Sunlight Peak we turned around and began hiking up Windom. We climbed the ridge and skied the Widowmaker Couloir.


Wanna Go to SIA?

The biggest and best show in the snowsports industry begins tomorrow – SIA, held in the Denver convention center. Many snow-related companies will be present there, unveiling new products and hashing out new deals with retailers.

But, there’s other faces of SIA too. One of them is education of retailers. With many skiers and snowboarders taking the leap from the resorts and into the backcountry, it’s essential for retailers to help promote a consistent message to their buyers. The Avalanche Project is working to have retailers educated about the potential dangers that are inherent in the backcountry.

And if you’re a retailer, you’re invited for this important training, which will be unveiled at SIA by the Avalanche Project during their Retail Ambassador Program presentation at 4 pm on Thursday January 28th.

Details of the Retail Ambassador Program Presentation to be held Thursday Jan 28th at SIA (Denver Convention Center).

Details of the Retail Ambassador Program Presentation to be held Thursday Jan 28th at SIA (Denver Convention Center).


Monarch Pass 1.23.16

I’ve been in Crested Butte for more or less twenty years. In that time, I’ve skied “who knows” how many days in the surrounding backcountry, and it’s hard for me to find many peaks or faces that I haven’t skied at one time or another. But that pass that I’ve driven over countless times on my way to and from Denver? Nope, I haven’t backcountry skied Monarch Pass, not even once (unless you count Mount Aetna, which I don’t think I would).

Brittany’s parents were in town, and to mix it up, they did a day at Monarch ski area. We actually dropped them off before heading back to the highway to ski backcountry. Brittany’s dad pointed out that things had clearly come full circle, since he used to drop Brittany off to ski Boston Mills, outside Cleveland Ohio. Strange how that can work, isn’t it?

With all the recent wind, we were looking for trees to ski, and Monarch certainly has plenty of that to find. Here’s Brittany, with Highway 50 and the ski are behind:
monarch pass backcountry skiing

Despite the wind, it was fairly pleasant with some of the warmest temperatures of the past month. We continued near treeline, searching for other areas to perhaps explore down the road.
backcountry near Monarch Pass


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