(Last Updated On: February 1, 2009)
Pete, Brittany and I were joined by John Jasper and Gary “Hurricane” Hicks and teamed up to do some exploring in a seldom-visited area of the Crested Butte BC. Our first change in plans occurred quickly, as sugary side-hilling made snowmobile access difficult and time-consuming. All of us had seen some steep slopes from the summertime that weren’t too far away, so that became our next goal. We made our way up the ridge and enjoyed the views of Teocalli.
Realizing that their “new daddy hallpasses” would be expiring in a short time, Hurricane and Jasper bid us farewell and headed out on a shorter tour that would let them get back without a trip to the doghouse. Meanwhile, Pete, Brittany, and I dropped in. Frank:
Pete near the bottom:
Our route followed the looker’s right of this avy path:
We were now in “Big Country”. I first heard this term a few years ago from Pete and Jasper. Big Country is not found in a guidebook, Big Country has no other tracks in it, you can’t see a ski area or a town from Big Country. Big Country makes you feel like you’re on a real adventure, like maybe you’re the first person to be there (almost never true, but at least it feels that way). Big Country is not found in Wasangeles or Berthoud Pass. In our case, Big Country was a huge unnamed cirque surrounded by peaks that as often as not didn’t have a name either.
Pete and I heading towards UN 13,010′
Heading towards UN 12,779′ unofficially known as Western State Peak:
I dubbed this line on UN 13,162′ “mini-Landry”, after the route on Pyramid which I think it looks like:
This one reminded me of LL’s Cerro Martin:
Frank topping out on the windswept ridge overlooking the valley we had been in:
I’m always amazed at how close Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn look on a clear day, despite being ~80?miles away:
Now it was time for us to ski the S face and follow the tracks that Jasper and Hurricane had left for us. Brittany:
Next, we started traversing (Brittany)
Then we traversed some more:
And kept traversing until it was almost dark. Yep, Big Country:
Thankfully, the snowmobile ride back out didn’t take too long and we made it back the cars a mere 10 and a half hours after starting out not long after sunrise. The turns for slogging ratio was a little low on this one, but it was still one of my favorite trips of the year. I guess I just like Big Country.