(Last Updated On: May 7, 2018)
Keller Mountain is one of many Gore Range peaks that beckon backcountry skiers from CO-9, south of Silverthorne. A north-facing couloir strikes down from Keller Mountain’s ridge, and I studied this couloir every time I traveled between Steamboat and back. I meant to ski the Keller Mountain North Couloir a few years back while researching routes for our guidebook. But, the timing never quite worked out. So, there it stood – waiting. But 2018 is a good year for the Gore Range. And it was time to go ski that line that struck me during all those trips to the northern part of our state.
What better partner to have for this line other than Larry Fontaine, since we had been talking about skiing this route for a few years. We started our day at the Rock Creek winter trailhead, walking the majority of the dirt road to the summer trailhead. From there we followed the east ridge of Keller Mountain to our north couloir descent.
The ascent was exceptionally scenic.
So many lines.
A quick look at the north side of Rain Peak and I knew I had to have that one too…
Above treeline, things got more scenic.
Above treeline, the ridge reminded me of Shasta’s “Misery Hill” – it just kept going and going, a seemingly endless snowfield.
But eventually we arrive to the top of our line, dotted with mountain goat tracks.
Admittedly, it looked pretty good.
From the top of our line, we admired the Gore Range views. East and West Partner Peaks.
I believe this is Solitude.
And across the way, Peak Z beckoned us.
A closer look at Peak Z, which has also been on my list for awhile.
And then we skied…. The snow was nice and chalky all the way down the couloir. Larry.
A few shots of me.
Since our descent put us into the Boulder Creek drainage, we had to reascend the ridge to get back to Rock Creek trailhead. Along the way, ran into Orphan Boy cabin – a cabin that I knew was in the general area, but wasn’t sure exactly where. Glad we came upon it.
As we descended, I took one more opportunity to observe the beautiful north couloir off of Rain Peak…
Our total time for the day was around 8.5 hours. Not to bad for a Gore Range mission 🙂