Fritz Sperry and I climbing and ski/snowboarding the Minturn Couloir aka Minturn Butt Crack on a spring day. We encountered 3 sections of ice with difficulty ranging from WI2 to WI3.
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As Fritz Sperry and I approached the traverse to the Hourglass Couloir for a ski/snowboard attempt on Little Bear Peak we were turned around by rapidly warming south facing snow. A spicy entrance to this north facing couloir was a good consolation prize.
October 18, 2016
Fall was having a slower start than usual in the high country. Winter was nowhere in sight and warm temperatures seemed to keep everyone’s minds on summer activities. The East Ridge Direct route of the 13,250 ft. Mt. Bancroft had been on my list for a while. Justin Ibarra and Pat “Perry” Johnson were interested in the idea so we decided to give it a go. After a bit of research to gain the necessary knowledge of the route, we figured out the gear we would need and set off early from Summit County.
Jeff Kepler and I did a short tour up Spruce Creek and rode some fun terrain below Mt. Helen. I dug a snow pit on a E/NE aspect, 11,400 ft, with a slope angle of 35 degrees around 2:40 PM. Deep persistent weak layers were evident but hard to trigger, although in areas that have a shallower snowpack this could change quickly. Some surface instabilities were encountered as well.
I did a quick tour to examine the current snowpack around Blue River, CO after receiving a large amount of snow in the past week. A new storm cycle was rolling in as I left my car around 1:00 PM. I didn’t notice any cracking or whumpfing as I skinned up to where I dug my pit. I stuck to some low angle, ~25 degree, slopes to ride.
Below is the graph of my pit including the different layers, temperature profile, and stability tests.