May 19, 2008


Capitalizing on the terrific but all-too-short spring ski season, Andy, Keith and I climbed up and skied down Mt. Audubon in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. We left our car on bikes at 4 am in attempt to reach the summit and begin skiing down before the snow softened up too much. We biked up the gate-closed road for a mile or so before encountering enough snow that skiing became the preferred method of travel. We then skied towards and up the southeast ridge of Mt. Audubon until the terrain became 'unskiable'.

Traversing some of the 'unskiable' terrain

Shortly after this section we encountered some steeper snow slopes which lead to the broad and much flatter summit plateau.

Keith booting up the steep snow

About 200 yards beyond the summit, we began our ski descent down the Crooked Couloir. The snow was slightly icy in the top of the couloir, but softened up considerably near the bottom, suggesting that we hit the timing just about right for the ski descent. The couloir maintained a steady pitch, which I measured at 42 degrees, for nearly 2000 vertical feet.

Me cruising on the mellower slopes below the couloir

After skiing the rest of the way out the valley, we eventually made it back to our bikes and rode back to the car, making for an 8 hour round trip.

Keith, fully loaded, riding his cruiser (I think this get-up is worthy of a Patagonia add)

Needless to say, I had a blast during this bike-climb-ski escapade. The only thing better than engaging in one of my favorite activities is to engage in many of my favorite activities! The Crooked Couloir is just one of many classic ski descents in the Indian Peaks, and I look forward to doing some more this spring - especially after the road opens and the approach isn't so long.


Ian said...

quality adventuring!

Molly said...

Crazy ass. That doesn't look like a fun traverse at ALL!