(Last Updated On: March 29, 2009)
Oh-Be-Joyful Peak 12,420′
Hancock Peak 12,410′
Pete, John, Frank
Winter returned with a vengeance the last few days, with 3-4 feet of new snow in Crested Butte’s backcountry. With a warm spring day on the 27th, we felt the snow had settled enough for the avalanche danger to be within reason. So we set our sights on skiing Hancock and/or Oh-BeJoyful (OBJ) peaks at the head of Democrat basin in the Ruby range W of Crested Butte. After some deep snowmobiling up Poverty Gulch, we set our sights on getting up and over Daisy pass, located just to the right of this photo.
The snow off of Hancock looked like it was wind affected, so we continued on towards Oh-Be-Joyful to see if we could find any better snow there. We skied down the ridge, with the rest of the Ruby Range and Mount Owen, the highest, in front of us.
OBJ had some great looking lines, but some huge cornices blocked access to them. Other lines on OBJ ended up in huge cliffs. So, we skied down the ridge and went back up a small highpoint on an adjacent ridge to find a smaller N facing chute.
The turns in the chute were good, but out in the open the snow was pretty horrible due to the wind. We made the trek back out towards Daisy pass and had a few more quality turns back to our sleds from there. John:
All in all, we didn’t get the knee-deep blower turns we had been hoping for, but we still had some good turns here and there. The best part of this tour was really that it was in an area that I hadn’t been to before in winter, and that few people ever take the time to ski. Hopefully the storm forecasted for tonight comes through for us and the wind affected snow is topped off with something better.