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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, Monarch Pass finally recieved a respectable dump with 13" falling out of this last storm. I am heading up to do my first bc trip of the year, looking at maybe Perfect Trees or dropping over into the North Fooses Headwall or Pecker Face. Should be a good opportunity to dig around a little and get familiar with the early season snowpack. I usually do these trips solo, but anyone interested in joining me is welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
right on

i won't be around this weekend but would be intersted in making some turns in the season as i live in salida
I used to distribute salsa for you through Bradford's a few years ago - great salsa - shitty company. Last season I spent over 50 days in the backcountry and skied from the summit of 5 of Chaffee counties 14'ers, solo. So hit me up if your headed into the backcountry and want company, I'm almost always ready.
As for the thin snowpack - it may not be tomorrow. In fact Monarch got another 3" this afternoon and more is in the forecast for this evening. My main concern is how well the new snow bonds to the suface hoar that developed over the last few days...time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
avy conditions very dangerous

So the new snow didn't bond so well, I triggered a couple of small slabs that moved a little and then I was about to drop into this gladed slope:

<a href="Picoodle / screenie december Image" target="_blank"><img src="http://img34.picoodle.com/img/img34/3/12/13/f_december080m_6005acb.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by Picoodle.com" /></a>

When the whole fucking thing broke lose:
<a href="Picoodle / besi december Image" target="_blank"><img src="http://img34.picoodle.com/img/img34/3/12/13/f_december080m_fbd1104.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by Picoodle.com" /></a>

Considering the pitch of the slope and the fact that it was in tight trees I didn't expect it:
<a href="Picoodle / picture december Image" target="_blank"><img src="http://img34.picoodle.com/img/img34/3/12/13/f_december080m_243bbfc.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by Picoodle.com" /></a>
<a href="Picoodle / what you see while you re t december Image" target="_blank"><img src="http://img34.picoodle.com/img/img34/3/12/13/f_december080m_1eeccf1.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by Picoodle.com" /></a>
<a href="Picoodle / photo december Image" target="_blank"><img src="http://img34.picoodle.com/img/img34/3/12/13/f_december080m_2e35aef.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosting by Picoodle.com" /></a>
Be careful out there, this is the time of year when unexpected things happen.
 

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folks...be careful for a little bit on Monarch. It is as bad a start as I can remember up there and I not usually prone to these interweb warning posts. Two of my buddies triggered a slide on the pass on Saturday and yesterday I got an inbounds run to move with me just after patrol dropped the rope. Shitty early season depth hoar, high winds through the first couple of dumps, super frigid temps yesterday...it is kind of gnarly right now. Plus the snowpack is thinner here than many places around the State and things are going to slide to the ground. Cartwheeling through scree=bad day.
 

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Harv we were up at monarch sunday. Not a ton of snow but starting to fill in. Thought about going to the bc up at indy pass but with the winds and the new snow ended up lookin like in bounds monarch was a good choice for sunday.

I also took a sled out solo at daybreak here around bv today just to see what conditions are like. The sunrise was great at -15 to -20 deg @ 12,136 ft.. Everything else sucked.. Had some coffee and came home. It needs some time to settle and fill in out there IMO.

Last year a slide in trees ran like that for 500+ yds... It would have beat a skier bad. Another super skechy - wierd - or normal snowpack startin for us here in Colorado..
 

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Two deaths this past weekend does not start the season on a good foot. One outside of Aspen and one in-bounds at Snowbird.

Hey Rdneck, I skiied sat and sunday and the trees off of breeze were filling in nicely. I was skiing my rock powder boards, so I did not care if I hit anything. The trees on Garfield needed more snow, but Gunbarrel was deep on Sun. and Pano was decent both days. I was going to stay out of the trees for the second half of the day yesterday, and switched to some better boards, but then my binding broke at the top of Garfield and I got to telly down on one ski! Back on my rock boards I went. As cold and windy it was, I was happy to be in-bounds.
 

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Harv we were up at monarch sunday. Not a ton of snow but starting to fill in. Thought about going to the bc up at indy pass but with the winds and the new snow ended up lookin like in bounds monarch was a good choice for sunday..
yeah I had fun up there yesterday but still pretty thin and hollow. we need a bunch of snow and let things slide and start over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gladstone Ridge?

Yeah, I was up there again on Sunday too. The snow is still a little thin, but getting better all the time. I had great runs through Pinball trees and Upper Christmas Trees (after a long climbing traverse), and there was enough (barely) snow to drop the skier's right side of Pinball rock and the rocks above the shack with minimal rock scrapage. Sounds like the forecast is going to give us another couple of feet by tomorrow night. You can bet I will be back up at Monarch tomorrow afternoon.

On another note, I went up and scouted some backcountry terrain off Cottonwood Pass today, and was wondering if anyone has done any skiing off Gladstone Ridge? I am thinking about climbing from the Collegiate Peaks Campground (once the snow settles) for a couple thousand foot descent of some nice looking glades. Looked like fun from the CT above Avalanche Gulch trailhead...
 

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Gladstone ridge ends up at the gladstone mine. AKA ruben's place... He is just about as cool of cat as there is here in BV and his cabin as well as where you will end up is denny creek or around the campground.

Easiest way is to go up there is the ptarmigan road (a mile or so up from denny creek take the ROAD not the TRAIL) the gate was opened Thurs.. This road/trail can take you all the way to the lake if you know where to go.. Some good skiing up there on the right day!! Walk up that road or better hitch a ride with snowmachine.. At the the last switchback there is another old road that will take you over to the ridge... It can be seen on google earth.

I would say that there is not enough snow yet. There are good glades but there is a ton of downfall as well. Some sections of tight, tight, trees.. Sometimes we lap the stuff right off the ptarmigan road if the conditions are right but that is usually in March.
 

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" Some have said that the sensitivity of the snowpack near Monarch Pass area is the touchiest they can remember in many years." CAIC this morning. Talked to Hixon yesterday, he said the things in the Cat Area are going large...without much encouragement. I am gearing up for a powder day tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks RDNEK

Yeah, there was definitely not enough snow yet. I will probably wait until spring to explore the area thouroughly. Without a snowmobile ride do you think I will still be better off slogging up the road to Ptarmigan creek? It looked like I could possibly climb straight up a ridge-line from Collegiate Peaks Campground.
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Hey guys-

Go get some free maps of the area in the next day or two - I'm running a test market for cheap, printable maps & it sounds like they might be helpful. Free until Friday. Participate in the survey (sent out to folks who log in and download maps) if you want to enter to win a GPS.

Map Store: https://store.accuterra.com

User Name: bcamp

Password: AccuTerra2.0
 

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hey flaco, your site is pretty wonky. at first i couldn't proceed past the registration page until i guessed that the required phone number has to be in a "1234567890" instead of a (123)456-7890 format. and once in i wasn't able select map sections for checkout.

dan
 

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logan, harv, anyone else, anybody gonna be up there tomorrow, friday the 19th? looks like im gonna get the day off so I think a day of schralpin at Monarch is in order. if anybody is gonna be over that way gimme a holler and lets meet up for safety and some runs
 

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I am up for some turns, but are you talking at Monarch or BC? With the avalanche danger being as high as it is, I plan on just skiing at Monarch.

It is dumping here at work in Fairplay, what is it doing in Gunny?
 

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maps

Flaco,

Thanks for the maps. I downloaded a few for the San Juans. Every one i open after I unzipped crashed my Mac with Leopard OS. I opened them with Preview (*.pdf reader) I have never had an application crash on this thing, except MS office of course......

Not sure what happened, just a heads up.

Scott
 
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