Sweet! Independence Pass this weekend was that big tasty bar of HÃ¤agen-DazsÂ® you sneak at the quickmart during your fillups. Crunchy, yummy, with plenty of creamy goodness once you get the wrapper off and really dig in.
|Pete cuts through the chocolate dip coating up on Geissler, NE face couloir.|
|Funny what you see at the trailhead. My other car is a snowboard; my other car is a Porsche; my other car is a ????|
Friday’s sport plan was multiple laps on East Geissler (Geissler #1). Air was amazingly cold up there. Nothing softening quick so we skied east off the summit for first run down creamy corn. After climbing the peak again, we opted for a north face coulie we’d had our eyes on for a while. Bob and I have been knocking these “mini golf” lines off for years starting as far back as the 1970s (I’ve been skiing the Pass since around 1968, in one capacity or another), but neither of us could recall having gotten this particular line, which is one of the closer to starting from the summit.
Amazing how you can always find something new up in this vast area. Indeed, it would be tough for any one person to ski every line in the Independence Pass area. Think about it. At the least, you can easily scope a hundred square miles of alpine ski mountaineering terrain when you’re standing on any one of the peaks up here. That includes three nearby fourteeners, scores of thirteeners, and hundreds of other summits, flanks, couloirs and bowls.
|Geissler as viewed from northwest, dotted lines show various options off summit of main Geissler. You can drop these then easily wrap around to Geissler Pass, or do the bonus bowls below and spend more time skinning back over.|
|Our first drop Friday was the east facing down to Lost Man Lake. Excellent.|
|Climbing back up for lap 2, the wind was blowing snow around like it was a warm day in January. Nothing like being at 13,000 feet. Works every time.|
|Louie gets another taste of HÃ¤agen-DazsÂ®|
|Whoops, almost forgot about day 2. To keep up the ice cream feast, Lisa, Louie and I did a family trip back to the Geisslers on Saturday. Instead of working from east to west as usual, we instead climbed Linkins Peak first, did a lap on it, then did an alpine ridge walk to West Geissler where we lapped a corn bowl. After that we grilled a few burgers with our new portable barbecue, then headed back home to regroup and do some lawn mowing. Yes, Virginia, there are places in the world with no snow.|
|Indeed, there does come a time when the call for activities other than snow glisse works its insidious way into WildSnow.com World HQ. Rumble Bee has been patiently waiting for a spring cruise. What better to get that going than a Father’s Day wheel up in the Schofield Pass area between here and Crested Butte, Colorado? Along with that, a Dad style lunch at the BBQ in Marble made for a fantastic Father’s Day Sunday.
I was laughing at Woody’s, as I couldn’t help thinking that up in Aspen they were having the Food & Wine Classic, where world renowned chefs were wooing foodies with their auras. Meanwhile, many mountainous mile away from Aspen’s haute food festival but still in Colorado, Woody stops by our table. He takes a sip off his perfectly chilled canister of Pabst then holds forth on exactly how he creates the smoked turkey that Lisa is swooning over. As they’d say in French: authentique’ !!
BTW, Woody’s is open all summer. Head up there and MAKE SURE you tell him WildSnow sent you. Woody mentioned that he’d had quite a few people visit these past couple months who mentioned they’d learned about his restaurant here on WildSnow. He deserves your patronage, as having an excellent eatery in an “end of valley” location such as Marble is incredibly fun — even useful — but somewhat unusual. His place reminds me of the small gasthauses you hit in Austria after a tour, only this one is total Americana, as it really should be.
(Schofield report: Washouts an mudslide on Leadking Loop are repaired, but they’ve still got the Loop road closed due to excess moisture as well as Lost Trail Creek being difficult to cross while in spate. Schofield road to Crystal is open, but closed above there due to being blocked by snow drifts.)
|Crystal Mill, yesterday, on the Schofield Pass Road.|
|Almost forgot this photo of Bob. Someone has to get the Perl under control — he has too much fun.|
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.