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Saturday was prediced to be the end of long  window of warm, dry weather, so I thought I'd grab the chance to solo Quandry Peak (14,265') and ski Cristo Couloir. Cristo is a 2,775 foot couloir on the S face of Quandry, the leftmost on the photo below.

Cristo Couloir 3-17-12 007.JPG

The road was closed by snow, so I started to skin in, but after 1/4 mile or so the snow ran out and it was a 2 mile hike in to the base of the couloir.  Cramponing up the couloir was tedious, and the snow seemed a bit punchy, so I mostly stuck to the rocks on the left.  Maybe they've made Quandry higher since last summer, or maybe I'm getting too old, but 2,775 vertical feet of talus-hopping really took it out of me.  And just below the summit, I found that my AT boots had given up the ghost after about 200+ days on them.  Another use for duct tape!

Cristo Couloir 3-17-12 010.JPG

There were a bunch of nice guys lounging on the summit, who'd skied up the normal route and were a little surprised to see somebody come up the other side.  But the big question is what were they doing with those goats?

Cristo Couloir 3-17-12 013.JPG

The rolloff just below putting on the skis was about 50 degrees, and there was no stopping if one fell. It's a long way down to the reservoir. Jump-turn city, all the way, hard snow. I was pretty glad I'd brought my Whippet.

Cristo Couloir 3-17-12 031.JPG

Halfway down, on easier terrain, I met some nice folks climbing up, and they were kind enough to take my picture...

Cristo Couloir 3-17-12 024.JPG

After that, on downwards to the reservoir, hike out, a quick drive to Denver, shower, an put on a tux to play a concert with the Littleton Symphony the same evening. A full day!

Cristo Couloir 3-17-12 034.JPG