Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ice park conditions

The park is in great spring conditions. There is plenty of soft stuff in the sun to climb, or look for the more northerly aspects where there is lots of colder plastic ice still around.

I haven't been up to the skylight in a while, but I would guess that it and choppo's have melted out at the tops. Maybe the Ribbon will come in?

Wear Sunscreen!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Climbed the Stairway today. Primo conditions all the way. Easy approach, perfect sticky blue ice, and a fine glissade down. Its finally in as it should be. The avalanche path below is quite impressive. It banks up the other side of the canyon with numerous large trees broken off.

Whorehouse looks to be thinning, but i only scoped it from the parking lot. 

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March 9 conditions

Beautiful day in the San Juans. Ice and ski conditions continue to be excellent.

The Skylight climbs are all super fat. The top-outs on Skylight and Choppo's are very hollow, be careful as temps warm up. The bottom third of Killer Pillar has fallen away, but the remainder is excellent climbing and the corner below is fun drytooling, it will soon come down in one dramatic crash so watch your belay and get it while you can. There are a number of thin short mixed lines that are rarely formed up along the road as well. Maybe this next winter blast will allow for some ascents.

Some guys went and checked out Bridalveil today, and sent me the following shots. Looked like it hadn't been done in a spell and they found fresh sticky ice with big hollow mushrooms on top. They climbed the right side, there were 3 significant roofs that had to be negotiated. Full Bridalveil Style, never very hard but definitely engaging. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The skiing on Red Mountain Pass continues to be incredible. We did a short tour up Carbon and down the popular Oh Boy Couloir. Fresh tracks and soft snow, very nice. We are all looking forward to the excellent spring ski season to come, although the ice climbing is still great.

Get out and enjoy! Clint

Monday, March 3, 2008

Red Mtn. Pass Ski Conditions

Hello Skiers,

With winter returning to the San Juans yesterday, a burst of new snow has freshened up the backcountry riding conditions.  New powder in many mountain areas is a nice allure, however many sunny aspects (E, W, S, and low angle north slopes) have a tricky breakable crust below the fresh snow.  At this time the best riding can be found on steeper north facing terrain, particularly in areas sheltered from the strong N winds of yesterday.  

Barclay and I skied "Oh Boy" couloir on Carbon Peak yesterday, a 35 degree tree run on the north facing side of a small peak below Red Mtn. #3, and found excellent riding conditions in 4-8" of light snow.

For adventurous skiers exploring at and above treeline, watch out for new windslabs and wind drifts on lee southerly slopes.  These areas may present the greatest hazard at this time due to significant accumulations and potentially poor bonding with the slick old snow surface. Additional avalanche danger information can be found at the Colorado Avalanche Information website.