TR: Keller Mountain North Couloir (27 April 2018)

(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.
Backcountry skiing Keller Mountain North Couloir, Gore Range.

So many lines.
Gore Range backcountry skiing.

A quick look at the north side of Rain Peak and I knew I had to have that one too…
Rain Peak, Gore Range.

Above treeline, things got more scenic.
Backcountry skiing in the Gore Range, Colorado.

Peak Z.
Peak Z, backcountry skiing in the Gore Range, Colorado.

Bloodshaw, backcountry skiing in the Gore Range, Colorado.

Above treeline, the ridge reminded me of Shasta’s “Misery Hill” – it just kept going and going, a seemingly endless snowfield.
Backcountry skiing Keller Mountain North Couloir in the Gore Range, Colorado.

But eventually we arrive to the top of our line, dotted with mountain goat tracks.
Backcountry skiing Keller Mountain North Couloir in the Gore Range, Colorado.

Admittedly, it looked pretty good.
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From the top of our line, we admired the Gore Range views. East and West Partner Peaks.
East and West Partner Peak, Gore Range.

I believe this is Solitude.
Solitude Mountain, Gore Range, Colorado.

And across the way, Peak Z beckoned us.
Peak Z, Gore Range.

A closer look at Peak Z, which has also been on my list for awhile.
Peak Z, Gore Range, Colorado.

And then we skied…. The snow was nice and chalky all the way down the couloir. Larry.
Backcountry skiing Keller Mountain North Couloir in the Gore Range, Colorado.

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A few shots of me.
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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.
Orphan Boy Cabin, Gore Range, Colorado.

Orphan Boy Cabin, Gore Range, Colorado.

A preserved typed page from 1976 told the story of the cabin, which is quite interesting. (click to enlarge). Does anyone know if this family still lives in Denver?
Story of Orphan Boy Cabin, Gore Range, Colorado.

As we descended, I took one more opportunity to observe the beautiful north couloir off of Rain Peak…
Rain Peak, Gore Range, Colorado.

Our total time for the day was around 8.5 hours. Not to bad for a Gore Range mission 🙂

Summary
Article Name
Keller Mountain North Couloir (27 April 2018)
Description
Seen from CO-9 south of Silverthorne, Keller Mountain North Couloir makes a fun backcountry ski in the Gore Range of Colorado!
Author

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Latest posts by Brittany Walker Konsella (see all)

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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