(Last Updated On: May 22, 2010)
After finishing Capitol the previous Sunday, the momentum was rolling. I wanted to try to finish skiing my four remaining fourteeners. The weather was looking perfect for a Sunday attempt on El Diente. Frank and I were joined by our friends Ann Driggers, Pete Sowar, John Jasper, and Pam Rice.
We began our hike from Silver Pick and 3:30 in the morning, and were pleasantly surprised to find that we could use skins just a few hundred feet from the car. Tree-fall, however, will be an issue for cars after the snow melts.
Photo courtesy of Ann Driggers
No matter where we looked, we couldn’t found a safe route to reach the summit- just a few minutes away. Long story short, the route needed either more or less snow…. or we needed a rope. Pete trying to find a way….
From there, our group decided to split. Ann, Pete, and Jasper decided to head back over Rock of Ages saddle. Pam, Frank, and I were determined to try to find a way to the summit of El Diente. We were going to try to find our friend Jarrett’s route down from this peak, and use it as an ascent route.
Up the couloir we climbed there were several choices and we were unsure which one to take. The route we did choose ended up being a dead-end. With temperatures rising and the snow feeling heavy, we decided to avoid wet-slides, and headed back down. Another great run of skiing!
After conferring with Jarrett a few days later, we now know that we were on the right line, but had turned left too early on the climb. Hopefully, we will have the opportunity to return to El Diente in the next week or so and ski this peak from the summit.
Though our attempts to summit were not successful, we still had a fun day. The skiing couldn’t be beat and the weather was absolutely perfect. All in all, we skied 8,500′ vert, including skiing all but a couple hundred feet back to the cars. Not a bad day by any means 🙂
See Ann’s Blog post on the GJ Sentinal website.