After the last few weeks of high pressure and warm, I had written off skiing at the pass. But apparently a storm came and went without registering on my radar, and left in its wake great alpine conditions. OK, let’s go skiing!
Two guys from Golden and two from Revy met up at the discovery center on Saturday. We decided that Sifton N face was our goal. We wanted to go up the Grizzly Shoulder/Little Sifton traverse route. We didn’t realize at the time, but it was because both Ian and I had already struggled up Hermit in post-Pineapple Express conditions and apparently it left a mark on our very souls. And not in a good way. So since we had two cars, we dropped one at Hermit trailhead and went up Grizzly Shoulder to struggle in much the same awful conditions below treeline. Eventually, snow got good, and the weather was unbeatable.
And before long, we spotted our quarry:
And fellow big line hunters
They had come up via the Hermit way. They were perfectly content allowing me to continue crushing trail, and we all went on up the ridge.
After the short descent onto the NW glacier there was one final climb to the top. I impressed mostly myself by skinning all the way up the ridge to the summit.
The descent was goooood! And for breaking trail, I got first dibs. As is tradition.
Then climb up the col between Mt Rogers and Sifton. The descent on the other side wasn’t too obvious, we just saw big convex rolls into nothingness for the longest time. I seemed to remember seeing in Doug Sproule’s book that the suggested route went a ways north along the col before dropping in, so we did that and found a few straightforward chutes to exit onto the Hermit. On the way out, we stayed hard right to get out via the Grizzly slidepath rather than the Hermit, which was sure to have what few good lines got refilled by pow already skied out by the masses exiting from Rogers. We had a nice, long sunset run down and skied literally right to the car.