Well Brian managed to do it again…talk me into another line in the Gores that is.
For the past several months Dr. Miller has been slowly but surely convincing me to stop focusing so intently on skiing 14ers, and start focusing more on skiing obscure, aesthetic lines in places I’ve never explored. So when he suggested the “Deming Drop” off Deming Peak as a candidate for this past weekend’s ski outing, my ears perked up. After taking a look at the line on StanWagon.com, I was sold.
Deming Drop is a unique line for a number of reasons. Firstly, it lies in the eastern-Gores, a true gem of a range that sees way less skier traffic than it is worthy of. Second, it’s a spectacular chute that features a sustained steep pitch of 40+ degrees dropping 1,300′ straight off Deming’s summit. Lastly, it rarely gets skied and documented, with a handful of known descents as of 2008 (according to Stan’s Deming page).
Mike, Rick, and I started from the TH at 4:45am under an orange sky. Within two hours we were staring at the South Face of Deming.
We took a long break below the face and admired the Tenmile/Front Ranges to the south. Upon skinning higher we began to catch glimpses of Gore Range peaks to our north.
Getting to the summit of Deming is just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, so I’ll skip describing that part. Not to give the wrong impression however, Deming is pretty far in there; the approach/climb of the peak took us nearly 6 hours.
From the top we got decent views of Holy Cross and the rest of the Northern Sawatch, though the Arizona smoke was inhibiting our long range visibility to the Elks. After 45 minutes of hanging out and enjoying the views/assortment of food we brought along, we finally decided to click in and check out the line.
From here, the only option for returning to the south side of Deming is climbing roughly 1,000′ back over the Southeast Ridge. It was getting a little late in the day so we tried to hurry before the Southern Slopes turned to mush.
From the top of the ridge it was a simple ski back down the way we came. Two hours after we made the ridge we were back at the car, another fine line under our belts. I like the Gores, a lot.