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Golden Tops North Face and Cassi Peak SW Couloir 6.5.11

With Gothic road open to the Judd Falls trailhead as of 6/3/11, Brittany and I were ready for the change of scenery (so to speak) and set our sights on a couple of goals in the upper Rustler’s Gulch area. I had skied the aesthetic South Couloir of Golden Tops (UN 13,260′) a couple of years ago, and had been wanting to go back to ski the North side. Our plan also included either Precarious or Cassi Peak (UN 13,232′), one of the few peaks in the area I hadn’t yet summited.

Brittany climbing towards the basin underneath Golden Tops. Trail 403 is in the forested area behind her. It’ll be a while…
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South Maroon. We tried this peak a couple of days later on 6/7/2011. Unfortunately, we found it to be in rough condition. More on that later…
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Brittany climbing the South Couloir of Golden Tops:
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Precarious Peak. The upper part of this route looked to be in good shape. We were hoping to ski the North Couloir, but in the end decided we didn’t have enough time.
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So, the Southwest Face of Cassi became our plan B, as seen here:
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But first, we get to ski the North Face of Golden Tops. Brittany:
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Frank:
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We made quick work of the West face and North ridge of Cassi and once again found ourselves on top of a peak with great views. The East face of Bellview mountain is on the list, though it’s a bit of a slog:
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Looking out the still-very-snowy Rustler’s Gulch towards Marble:
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Our tracks on Golden Tops:
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Brittany on top of Cassi:
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Though it was now a little after noon, the snow on Cassi was nearly perfect. Perhaps we’ve entered a more summer-like snowpack stage. Brittany:
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Frank drops in:
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The lower pitches were great, too. Brittany:
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Brittany skiing in front of the impressive Spider Face:
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Frank:
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Looking back at some of our tracks and the summit of Cassi from the East:
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We descended into Copper Creek, which made for a nice circular loop. I was amazed how much snow had melted in just a few days since the last time I was in this valley. Despite the melting, I’m pretty confident in saying that the skiing will be quite good for some time to come. So leave the bike at home a little longer and get out there- it’s the best spring ski season in years!

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4 Comments

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  1. Nice skiing you two! The South Couloir on Golden Tops looks mighty aesthetic, I’m gonna have to explore a few peaks in that region eventually!

  2. Hey Mike! So what you have labled as “these look rad” (the hanging snowface) are Golden Tops. A friend of mine climbed them in summer and that’s what it said in the summit register. I think the 13,043 twin summits are most commonly referred to as the Camel Humps. I’ve just been figuring all that out myself over the last couple years- great zone at this time of year. Jenkins, by the way, was $$$.

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