5 May, 2014 at 4:38 am #1168
Damn it feels good to complete a project this long in the making- Meeker marks my final thirteener ski descent within Wild Basin!
I rallied Daan for an early season death march up the ol’ Basin; we piled in the van at a woozy 3am departure and drove through the deserted streets of Boulder, up through Lyons then Allenspark, finally arriving at the Sandbeach Lake TH shortly before 4:30. It was a blackout hike to snowline around 1.5 miles in, where we started to skin.
And just kept on skinnin’, and skinnin’ and skinnin’.
We broke from the standard trail at the Hunters Creek crossing, following it up past Lyric Falls to treeline. Our first view of the line wasn’t exactly promising:
But we opted to give ‘er a go anyhow, seeing as we’d already put forth this much effort just to get to the base. A few more hundred feet of skinning and it was time to convert to the crampons.
The mass of vertical snow just continued to extend up ahead of us as we put our heads down and just kept climbin’.
The first cruxy bit was just after Dragons Egg, where the rock masses started to surpass the snow, but not entirely. As we continued up we made sure to pinpoint the best descent options, it was going to be a bit tricky through some spots.
Luckily it opened up again into a wide snowfield before once again choking onto some slabs of rock with bits of snow between. Past this second crux was a smooth, steep snowfield to the ridge. We topped out at the end of the skiable white stuff and contemplated hiking the last bit of rock to the summit. After a bit of grub and water it was decided just to ski down the sucker, we’d already put forth a tremendous amount of effort to get where we were.
Daan dropped in first, skiing the still firm but entirely carve-able snow down to the first set of rocks. I followed shortly afterwards and regrouped at the first string of rocks. I assumed we’d be down climbing, but Daan miraculously found a decent route through. And so we billy-goated our way through the line, I opted at one point to save my skis and took them off for a short down hike, but Daan, like a boss, kept them on the whole time.
Just above Dragons Egg, things got REALLY good- the line opened up and the snow became absolute corn perfection. We opened up the sweeping hero turns for the next fifteen hundred plus vert, hootin’ and hollerin’ the whole way.
It was the kind of perfect spring snow that made you forget entirely how badly your legs were burning from making so many turns- pure glory and excitement.
We hugged it out after regrouping and realized we still had plenty of vert to go so decided to just keep on milking the oh so good corn conditions on the way out.
- This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by dmandave.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.9 May, 2014 at 3:55 pm #1172
Nice work, guys! We almost skied that line last month…
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