Frank's Blog

Please visit 14erskiers.com/blog

TR: Carbon Peak 12,079′ 1.9.10

Carbon Peak sits in the headwaters of picturesque Ohio Creek and is one of the more distinct peaks from the town of Gunnison. With the current snow conditions remaining less than ideal, We started brainstorming ideas for a good weekend outing. Since Carbon is one of the few local peaks I have yet to climb or ski, and I feel a lot better about South faces than other aspects, we decided to give the Spoon route on Carbon a go.

The Spoon:
Photobucket

On this trip, I was sporting the newest beta version backcountry poles from Black Diamond.

Photobucket

Lets take a closer look at these new poles. They feature the newest in moldable grip technology, which they have dubbed the “washcloth grip system”. I found them to form-fit to my hand very well, thumbs up!
Photobucket

By moving the pole to its’ sideways position, the pole doubles as a snow picket. Top-notch versatility!
Photobucket

The beauty of their new system is that each pole is different, to better cover a wide variety of uses. The other pole featured BD’s new patented “goggle brush”. Faceshots are a thing of the past, as this pole allows the skier to quickly wipe their goggles whenever an annoying vision-stealing faceshot occurs. Brilliant!
Photobucket

Finally, the other end of the second pole is designed to chop steps in ice, the way mountaineers used to do it. What a weight savings, not having to take crampons anymore!
Photobucket

14erskiers gives these new poles a big thumbs-up! They can now be purchased at ImjustjokingIforgotmypolesandhadtomakedue.com

On to the action… We started off from the Carbon Creek trailhead and headed up the road to avoid private property:
Photobucket

Finally we were able to leave the road and make our way up the southeast side of the mountain:
Photobucket

Brittany, with the backside of Whetstone behind:
Photobucket

It took a while (it’s roughly 3400′ from the trailhead to the summit), but we eventually got on the high ridge above treeline:
Photobucket

Great views of the West Elks:
Photobucket

Reaching the summit, Gunnison valley behind:
Photobucket

Carbon is in an interesting location, and with no high connecting ridges, it had some great and unique views of the surrounding mountains. Ruby Range/ NE cirque of Carbon:
Photobucket

The Anthracites:
Photobucket

We geared up and made our way down the Spoon. As expected, we found some sun and wind crusts, but also some powder. Frank:
Photobucket

BD’s new poles do a terrific job of pole planting:
Photobucket

Frank:
Photobucket

It’s a long way down the Spoon:
Photobucket

Brittany off the top:
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We cut out of the Spoon and traversed left about 2/3rds of the way down, once again to avoid private property. Much of the SE chute we then followed was very crusty, but once we got lower, we had some really fun turns. You can just make out Brittany making her way down this thin slot in the Aspens, which were probably my favorite turns of the whole day.
Photobucket

We made our way back down the road and caught one last photo of the Castles:
Photobucket

Carbon is an interesting mountain that holds a lot of quality vert. In good condition, the routes on the East side would be as good as anywhere in the area. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get a ton of snow and the trailhead is 45 minutes away from Crested Butte, otherwise I would head back down there all the time. Still, we had a great day exploring a new area and making the most out of the still-too-thin snowpack.

2 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. Nice trip report and photos! Your shot of Whetstone reminded me of a climb I did on it about 10 years ago. Haven’t done Carbon yet. May have to give it a whirl sometime soon… ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Frank's Blog, 14erskiers.com © 2014 Frontier Theme