Having had so much fun last week on Kessler, Jake and I recruited the now returned Ouray ice climbers Steve and Court to join us on a jaunt back up and down the stellar mountain. Hoping for more snow Friday night, we were slightly bummed when all that materialized was a few inches. Nevertheless we embarked as avy danger was still moderate.
Jake broke trail most of the way as the rest of us seemed a little bogged down from previous ski days or runs the past few days, my own legs tired from an out and back on the pipeline from the mouth of Millcreek(15 miles per mtn biking utah) Friday night followed by a long gym session. Good training. We skinned up the now familiar Argenta slide path, making good time but simultaneously losing brain cells as Court's digestion of Friday night's vegetable lasagna kicked in a little too potently for the rest of us to handle. We summited to clear skies and great views, admiring next time's objectives of the east couloir and Catcher's Mitt.
|Court after one of his rare falls while kickturning|
|The crew on the Kessler Ridge|
|Next time: East Couloir|
We deskinned and started the traverse northward around the north subsummit to the entrance of God's Lawnmower, the massive north facing slide path that leads all the way to the road. The traverse was a bit rocky and bare at times, but we made it. Court dropped in first as he is usually the most daring of the 4 chickens. We heard the painful sound of skis scraping their bases off as he found rocky slabs covered by 3 inches of powder on the drop in, not great skiing conditions. He managed to turn and get down to real snow without flipping down the mountain. The 3 of us headed for a lower, more snow filled entrance. Steve ended up in a tree somehow that I still am not sure what he was hoping for. Jake dropped in and found more rocks, but quickly found deeper snow. We all ended up in the actual ski path safely despite all using different methods.
|Steve, what are you doing down there?|
Once we were in, it was glorious. Big wide turns, soft snow, hoppers, and tight aspens down lower. Court ate it hard and flipped pretty good on one steep section, snow flooding his backside. We just laughed and laughed as he froze trying to shake the pow out from his warm spots. "This is the worst part about crashing", he said. Its also the funniest.
|Court skiing rocks|
Steve managed to film this while skiing the aspens using a handheld camera. Nice stevo!
We skied out through the fun aspens at the bottom, crossed the river, and walked the mile or so back down to the car just as the snow started to fall. Nothing like a great ski day with good friends and celestial weedwacking.