Redwell- Peeler Tour 3.9.09

(Last Updated On: March 11, 2009)

Mt Emmons 12,392′
Peeler Peak 12,228′
Rob, Sydney, Frank
3.9.09

Rob, Sydney, and I headed out and found some great skiing a couple of days ago on the long (9hours, ~15mile, ~6,000′ vertical) and spectacular Redwell to Peeler tour. This tour gains the summits of a couple of 12 thousand foot peaks in the Elks near Crested Butte and 2 high quality alpine bowl descents to boot. This area got about 8″ just a couple of days before our tour, which meant that the snow had time to adjust and was bound to be perfect.

The first climb follows the always well-established skintrack going up the side of Red Lady bowl on Mt Emmons. Sydney:
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The entrance to Redwell bowl is just a little ways off the summit and we were surprised and excited to find that we would be the first group since the last snowfall to drop in. I dropped in first “so I could take some photos” 😉 and conditions were about as good as they get in this often windswept bowl. Sydney:
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Rob decided to turn on the rocket booster and make some contrails:
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After Redwell, it was time to put the skins back on and begin the long, flat skin up Peeler basin and past the Peeler lakes. Once you pop out of the trees on this tour, the views just keep coming. Rob in front and Sydney behind:
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Rough day:
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The next storm was starting to come in by the time we reached Peeler’s summit ridge, so we kept moving as quick as we could. Rob, with (L-R) Afley, Oh-Be Joyful, and Hancock peaks behind.
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The wind was starting to get gusty by now, which led to the occasional whiteout on the ridge just to remind us we were on a big peak in winter.
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The clouds were really rolling in by the time we dropped down the face of Peeler, but we still had a few windows of blue sky to keep the visibility decent. Rob got first tracks this time:
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Sydney dropped in third:
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The final pitch of Peeler is really steep with a few rolls and cliffs and is a really scary place to be with a poor snowpack. On this day, however, all the recent warm temps of the last couple weeks had really solidified everything but the top layer, so we felt good about the snow stability. Rob dropped in first again.
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By now, the light had pretty much disappeared and my camera batteries were starting to fade, so that’s the last ski shot worth putting up. Hopefully Rob will get his photos and videos up soon to really round out this TR soon.

I shot a couple more photos from the Slate river on our way out. Mineral Point is always an aesthetic peak, especially in the broken light that we had with the approaching storm:
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Looking back up the Oh-be-joyful valley, we could see the face of Peeler we had just skied (the high triangular point at the head of the valley). The storm came in hard and dropped about a foot of snow with a ton of wind, so the skiing at the resort yesterday was superb, while the backcountry needs a couple of days to settle out and a little more snow on top of the wind affected snow would be ideal as well. ‘Til next time…
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Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.  He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing.He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and would be honored to send you his monthly newsletter.

Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.    He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing. He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and would be honored to send you his monthly newsletter.

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