Blue Peak Orbit – Independence Pass Backcountry Skiing

Post by blogger | May 31, 2006      

Packing for a Moab trip so quick report from yesterday’s glisse:

After a dusting of snow a few nights ago and the cool temps of a cold front, I figured yesterday would be a good time for a mega tour. Blue Peak is the high 13er just north of Independence Pass. We started at the upper switchback on the west side of the pass, climbed up Blue and skied a couloir on Blue’s east face. We then skied the “Two Mile Run” down into the North Fork Lake Creek (this is detailed in my book “Colorado Backcountry Skiing.”)

Skins back on, we climbed west to the Continental Divide and took a high pass south of where the Trooper Traverse crosses (I call this Petzoldt Pass), and found another couloir to ski into Lost Man Creek. We then climbed to the pass at the head of Lost Man, climbed and skied Geissler Peak, and made turns down the valley back to our truck.

The trip took about 6 1/2 hours — highly recommended as a tour if you’re blessed with a colder day. Small amount of new snow helped hide the dust layer, but it’s showing up again and the nieve is fading fast. Get it while you can.

Department of gear carnage:
With avalanche beacons I’ve got a habit of “put it on – turn it on” while still at home. I grabbed my Barryvox, hit the switch, and the thing was dead to the world. It simply will not turn on. Luckily I had a spare Tracker. Thanks BCA! I’ll send the Barryvox in and blog what happens. For now, let’s just say I’m not impressed, as the Barryvox has not been abused. What if the thing had quit in the middle of a trip? I love the small form-factor of the Barry, but function is somewhat important as well, to say the least…


3 Responses to “Blue Peak Orbit – Independence Pass Backcountry Skiing”

  1. Mark May 31st, 2006 9:04 am

    Glad you had the spare transceiver. I’ve been thinking about upgrading as mine is about 10 years old, but having a spare is always wise too.

  2. Alyson Wilson June 1st, 2006 6:25 pm

    I’ve never heard of a transciever just dying like that… What a great reason to gear up at home. As frustrating as it may be that your transceiver of choice kicked it, kudos to you for discovering it BEFORE you put on your skis.

  3. Lou June 5th, 2006 9:57 am

    Hi Alyson, yeah, my personal standard is to “put it on and turn it on” — at home.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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