(Last Updated On: March 28, 2015)
It was getting downright hot in Crested Butte. The sun was bright and fiery. And each day, the snowbanks melted back a few inches. A look at the weather predicted rain in the forecast, and I believed it – even though March rain in Crested Butte is extremely rare. But, St. Patty’s day looked like a perfect day. A perfect day to ski corn, that is.
A quick glance at the Gothic Spoon told all. It wasn’t going to last much longer. In fact, I was pretty certain that the choke didn’t quite go. But, I’d encountered that in the past and knew it was a simple walk through it, and would not deter me from skiing this line. I was able to entice Mark Robbins to join me on this fabulous day.
The Spoon is the line on the right.
Gothic Mountain is my go-to mountain here in Crested Butte. I haven’t gone a year here without skiing this magnificent peak and often ski it multiple times in a season. The line possibilities here are plentiful. Even having skied on every aspect of this mountain, I still have more exploring to do. The Spoon is one of the most known lines on Gothic and is a favorite because it tends to stabilize fast and corn up quickly, being a south facing line. Since corn was what we were after, the Spoon would be the place we would find it.
Mark on the bootpack.
Just as Gothic stands as an iconic peak that tempts the eyes of backcountry skiers from Crested Butte ski area, it also harbors spectacular views of the valley below.
Mineral and Augusta looked wonderfully white in the distance.
The West Side looked smooth and nice. But, it would be a few hours before it softened.
But the corn was perfect on the Spoon. At 11:30 we dropped in to perfect conditions on the Spoon.
The Spoon is absolutely aesthetic.
The snow was the best corn I’ve ever skied on the Spoon.
Mark heading down to the choke.
As I suspected, the choke did not go. We had to take our skis off and walk about 50 feet to our left to the next continuous patch of snow. But, a look back up from our transition point revealed that the snow was thin leading up to the choke.
After the choke the line skied clean all the way to the bottom. In fact, the bottom half of Gothic Mountain skied quite good.
A look back up at our line of the day.
That night, the front moved in. For 36 hours we were bombarded with unusually warm temperatures and rain. The rain hastened the melting of the snow, and the Spoon became unskiable. So glad we got in one last ride on it before it ended!
Now’s the time to buy your ski gear for next year. AND cash in that REI dividend when you do!