Patrick Gephart

Freelance Web Engineer | Alpine Enthusiast

Tag: front range (Page 1 of 3)

Mt. Bancroft – East Ridge Direct

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.

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Pennsylvania Gulch Snow Observations 1/8/17

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.


Breckenridge Front Range Snow Observations 12/5/16

Snowpack observations from today, 12/5, from the Front Range area near Breckenridge, Summit County:

The snowpack is finally starting to get a bit deeper around here but is holding more problematic layers. After skinning to the top of our objective I performed a quick snow profile at 3:00 PM on a NE facing slope around 11,700 ft. The slope angle was 34 degrees.

The snowpack was wind loaded in this area and the average snow depth was 60 to 65 cm. From the ground to a height of 15 cm a depth hoar is becoming well formed with facets from 3-4 mm in size. From 15 cm to 30 cm a layer of 2-3 mm facets with a bit more consolidation was observed. From 30 cm to 45 cm a fist hard slab exists which appears to be from the previous storm cycle. At 45 cm a 1-2 cm crust layer was observed with a first hard slab of soft snow from our current storm cycle above it to the surface. Faceting is occurring above and below this crust layer.

Pit results were CT7 Q2 at 45 cm, CT10 Q2 at 15 cm, and ECTP12 Q2 at 15 cm.

Snow is continuing to come down so it will be interesting to see how this will affect our current snowpack.

Shit For Brains Couloir

April 6, 2016

Spring was on its way, allowing the snow pack to consolidate as warming temperatures allowed for melt/freeze cycles here in Summit County. With a bluebird day in the forecast, Lexie Anderson and I ventured outside of Arapahoe Basin’s inbound terrain in hopes of descending the Shit for Brains couloir. We planned to ascend a western ridge south of Grizzly Peak and traverse Black Mountain to reach the line from above.

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Longs Peak – Keyhole Route

10/11/15 – 10/12/15

Summer was fading away and fall was already in full force in the high country. Pat “Perry” Johnson and I decided it was time to knock out a Front Range 14er that we had waited to do until tourist season was over, Longs Peak. We planned to depart from the trailhead in Estes Park on a Sunday morning, camp at the Boulder Field right below the Keyhole, and summit Longs Peak the following day. This would hopefully ensure relatively low traffic on the route and allow us to enjoy an unfamiliar area without the congestion it typically attracts in the summer months. I talked to a ranger a few days before to make sure a campsite was available and work out any fees we would need to pay before heading up on the mountain. He informed me that the Trough section of the route contained both ice and snow so I decided it was a good idea for Perry and I to bring an ice axe and crampons to be on the safe side.

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