Beer, Brats, and a Blind Evans Ski

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Date: May 23, 2009
Partners: Brian Miller, Jon Osterbrock, Carl Dowdy, Marc Barella
Route: North Face Couloirs from Summit Lake
Stats: 1,500‘ climbed and skied, 2 Miles, ~3 Hours

My buddy Jon Osterbrock, along with myself and our wives were called on for a little house sitting over Memorial Day weekend, so at first it seemed skiing was out for the weekend. The house however happens to be on Lookout Mountain and since Carl and Marc live nearby, the idea of a short jaunt up Evans was born and easily negotiated. Brian was quick to join in and generously supplied a grill, brats, and of course beer for an apres ski party.

We all met at the recently opened Summit Lake TH and found the entire mountain to be completely socked in. Despite the visibility being less than ideal, we all knew the route pretty well and were skinning towards the north face couloirs around 7:00am.

Marc and Carl trying to locate the correct couloir on the North Face.

About midway up the face, Brian and Carl decided to spice things up and headed left to climb a narrow branch shooting off the main couloir. Marc and I had been up that road before and knew it ended in a few low five moves, we opted to climb the main chute with Jon. Both chutes meet on a ledge just below the summit headwall.

Brian working his way up the chute. Photo by Carl.

Because it was less difficult our route was also more efficient, so we ended up beating Carl and Brian to the ledge and thus were able to watch them finish from above.

Topping out on the ledge below the summit head wall.

Once the group was together again in the main chute, the summit was only a skip and a hop away. Early on it was clear the tourist switchbacks were snow covered so the ski was in from the top.

Since there was not much to see and we had beer and brats waiting, we didn‘t stay on the summit long. Jon and I skied from the absolute high point while Marc down climbed back to “where the real snow starts”.

Off the top. Photo by Jon.

After skiing a bit below the ridge on the south side, Jon and I climbed up and over and down to the highest snow on the north side were Marc, Carl, and Brian were waiting. We skied the crux of the route carefully one at a time, then ripped it the rest of the way down the couloir to the base of the north face. The snow was heavy and sticky which made skiing it a ton of work, but an enjoyable descent ensued nonetheless.

Carl poised to drop in.

We had some decent snow despite poor visibility.

Photo by Carl.

We were down and out through the basin in no time, a short hike along the road landed us in the parking lot 30 minutes after we left the summit. Brian had the grill fired up 5 minutes later and then the goods came out…

We may not be able to see any mountains, but those sure look good.

After the apres ski the entire crew came over to watch the Nuggets lose to L.A. Oh well, can‘t win em all…I‘d rather ski Evans than see the Nugs win anyway.

Great day fellas!! Thanks for reading.

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