Pyramid Peak, Colorado, West Side Eye Candy

Post by blogger | May 19, 2011      

For those of you asking, here is one view of Pyramid west side, upper section. Everything connects other than possible very short sections of downclimbing or Davenporting. Don’t hesitate to belay when you’re passing over some of the cliffs.

Pyramid Peak, Colorado, upper west side.

Pyramid Peak, Colorado, upper west side. Click to enlarge.

On May 6 of 1989, I skied the west side from the horizontal snow stripe just below the summit block. I was pretty sure that was the first time that had been done, as you really had to know that intricate side of the peak to even think of skiing it, and no one I knew in Aspen felt it had ever even been attempted from that side. I recall a couple of sections that were too narrow to make turns and required a short but careful sideslip through the slot. With this year’s snowpack, I’d imagine the route goes much better.


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9 Responses to “Pyramid Peak, Colorado, West Side Eye Candy”

  1. Rob Goski May 19th, 2011 2:12 pm

    Planting seeds of motivation??

  2. Lou May 19th, 2011 4:32 pm

    Just being a blogger, about my subject…

  3. Mark W May 19th, 2011 10:10 pm

    That route always amazes me when I look at it. Inspiring for sure. There appear to be a number of routes that may go this year with the deep spring snowpack.

  4. Ken McKean May 20th, 2011 7:05 am

    What is “Davenporting”?

  5. Frank K May 20th, 2011 7:55 am

    So many fine routes on the Pyramid group and the Bells. For a few weeks every spring, I almost wish I lived in the RFV. Still, I can’t really picture myself on top of Pyramid and not dropping Landry..

  6. Lou May 20th, 2011 10:19 am

    Davenporting is skiing over rocks to connect skiable snow. It’s been done for years of course, and the term caught on when Chris Davenport was skiing all the 14ers as his name lent itself to the term. The term is supposed to be somewhat humorous, but also describe something we do up there.

  7. Lou May 20th, 2011 10:26 am

    Frank, stay over in CB, the guys around here need a few routes for themselves (grin).

  8. Caleb Wray May 20th, 2011 11:57 am

    The term “Davenporting” (aka billy-goating) seems to be somewhat unique in CO because we do so much more of it when ski-mountaineering. This year being an exception, we usually have a relatively thin snowpack up high because CO is very dry and very windy. I never heard any form of this term when living on the west coast, probably because it snows and sticks there. However I go through my fair share of PTex because of my annual “Davenporting” forays. I remember the first time I saw a partner perform this maneuver, I thought he was an idiot, then I came to understand that is just what people do here, and for good reason. Intentionally putting skis on rocks is still counter-intuitive though.

  9. Steve Gladbach January 23rd, 2012 9:06 am

    Elk community,

    Do you know if there has been a “Calendar Winter” ascent of Thunder Pyramid? Will you ask around for me? I know I’ve heard it is an attractive spring ski, but I’m interested in whether it has been tackled between the solstice and equinox. If so, who, when, from what starting point?



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