(Last Updated On: May 16, 2011)
After consecutive days on Pyramid, Sopris, and Ruby chute (TR hopefully coming soon), Brittany and I were joined by Tom Runcie and we set our sights on “Little Alaska”. Little Alaska is an informal name given by Marble-area skiers for the group of peaks in the upper Yule Creek valley which are quite impressive from the Marble zone. Lou has a great panorama shot of the area on Wildsnow. For Crested Butte skiers, there is an all-too-brief period when this zone is easily accessible via snowmobile once the snow is set up enough for both traction and avalanche stability. On my previous trips to ski “The Blob” and “Ant“, the weather hadn’t been overly cooperative and I had to settle for some low-visibility ski descents, but thankfully that wasn’t the case on this near-perfect day.
As has been the case on many of our adventures, our friends were with us in spirit. We miss you Alison K.
One of the tough things about backcountry skiing for so long in one place (15years in Crested butte for me) is that it is getting increasingly difficult to find new lines and new challenges close to home. On the other hand, I have spent very little time on the West side of the Ruby Range, and it looks like I should change that:
While we wanted to ski the North face directly off the summit, concerns about the cornices and snow beneath them led us to a short ski of the West face and a traverse back to the North face. The snow was recycled and rippled of a powder-like character. In other words, excellent. Frank dropping off the summit to the West:
While the weather forecast was calling for very warm temps, the reality on the snow was a fairly cool and windy day, so rather than call it quits we decided to head up Treasure Mountain, a massive mountain and the highest in the area at 13,528′. A full descent of the North side of the peak through Bear Basin all the way to the townsite of Crystal 4,000’+ below remains high on my list. The climb up the South side was a bit of a slog, but the views were worth it. Capitol:
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