Mount Richmond Ski (20 June 2019)

Frank and I were looking to ski something in the Crested Butte area. Admittedly, after skiing here for so many years, sometimes it’s hard to find things to ski that keep us interested. But, I suggested Mount Richmond – a peak that I had never skied, and Frank had an idea for a different line on it which would be new to him as well – it seemed like a great option. Mount Richmond lies the shadows of nearby Augusta Mountain and Mineral Point. Seemingly unassuming from afar, Mount Richmond, actually has some fun steep backcountry ski descents!

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Mount Guyot Ski – Swan Dive (14 June 2019)

Chances are, if you’re a backcountry skier who spots inticing lines, you’ve spotted Mount Guyot’s south face from US 285 as you pass near Fairplay. From this viewpoint, the modest 13,370 foot peak commands the skyline, and begs to be skied. The south face requires just the right conditions to be skied, and is not always “in”. But, the hidden behind on the north side of the mountain lies more moderate and ski-friendly terrain. The most popular of these is the Swan Dive, a northeast facing gully that plunges into the Swan River below.

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Cronin Peak (8 June 2019)

Back then, maps called it 13,870′. Others called it “North Carbonate”. But, the Department of Interior actually officially named it Cronin Peak in May, 2005. Still, it took a handful of years for the name to really take hold. The new official name for this peak is to honor Mary Cronin, who became the first woman to climb all the fourteen-thousand foot peaks in Colorado, in 1921. After learning this, I wanted to climb this peak even more.

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Mt. Moran Skillet Ski – My Bucket List (5 May 2019)

Really, the best time to ski the Skillet is early to mid-May. But, Jackson Lake is not frozen enough to cross, and not thawed enough to row. But, as I mulled over the idea of the Skillet with our friend Hans, I learned something new. Hans had moved to Jackson from Colorado in 2014, but we knew him from skiing in Colorado. He told me that he thought Mt. Moran could be approached from the String Lake Trailhead via Leigh Lake Trail, and that the road to String Lake opened up on May 1st. He hadn’t known anyone who had done it. But, looking on a map, it seemed easy enough – a 5 mile, mostly flat, approach to the bottom of the route and then a 5500 vertical foot climb from there. This would be a long one, but I’ve done longer, harder, steeper routes with greater vertical before. Avoiding Jackson Lake seemed like the way to go.

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Crested Butte Pole Pedal Paddle Race (28 April 2019)

Since the inception of CB3P, I’ve always thought to myself, “I should really do that race someday.” But, it always happens at a time when I’d rather just be backckountry skiing. And, I was also pretty terrified of the “paddle” portion as I have little river experience. But, after I was finally assured that the river section was indeed not too hard, especially if using a duckie, I decided that this year was the year I needed to do it. I even put it in writing, stating I wanted to do it on my 2019 Bucket List. See, that’s the thing. Sometimes just putting a goal in writing makes me want to achieve it even more.

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TBT: The Citadel Ski (27 April 2018)

We met at our rendezvous point near Frisco with the intentions of heading over Vail Pass. But I-70 chaos struck. the pass was closed, despite the fact that it was a perfectly weekday, and no bad weather had hit the area in days. Thwarted, we came up with a plan B, head up Fremont Pass and do some touring out of Mayflower Gulch. Drift Peak was on my list. But, as soon as we exited the highway, we found traffic backed up on the pass again. Another accident most likely. Now it was getting late and we had to quickly decide on a Plan C. Citadel. The letters matched, so it seemed fitting, and none of us had actually ever skied it. Even better, eastbound I-70 traffic was smooth sailing.

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TBT: Rain Peak (6 May 2018)

I am not sure how Rain Peak became something on my list to ski. But, it did. I knew for years that there was a north-facing couloir that left short of the peak east of it’s summit. After viewing it from another mission on Keller Mountain, I knew that it looked like a quality ski.

I was on a “Brittany boot-camp” training mission to help myself prepare for my upcoming ski of Mount Rainier, so a 12.6 mile (4400’vert) slog through the Gore to ski Rain Peak didn’t phase me. Of course, I didn’t know that the trail leaving from Willow Creek Trailhead would have so many downed trees that would slow our progress significantly. Nevertheless, I managed to drag Frank along with me that day, on a mission he swore would be one of his last in the Gore.

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TBT: Sayres Benchmark Ski (5 May 2018)

I first laid eyes on Sayres Benchmark in June of 2006, when skied nearby La Plata Peak, my 6th 14,000-ft peak skied during my Colorado Fourteener Skiing project. I immediately added it to my to-do-after-I’m-done-skiing-fourteeners list, but here it was 2018, and I finished that project in 2011. Where did the time go and why hadn’t I skied Sayres Benchmark yet? I could make up some excuses, for sure. But mainly, it was time to just get it done.

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