In 2011 Brian and I attempted to ski Mt. Eva from the Fall River drainage but had to turn back at treeline as gale force winds threatened to blow us into the Troposphere. What we knew at the time was that on good snow years Eva’s southeast face can offer up some excellent skiing, so we kept it in the back of our minds. This past Saturday we finally got around to heading up for a second attempt, and this time we were treated with much better weather and great skiing conditions.
After rendezvousing with an old friend, Derek Dreschel, we motored on up the Rainbow Road and parked the car at a switchback a half mile up from Fall River Road. From there we made our way up the drainage to Chinns Lake to the south of Fall River Reservoir.
Mt. Eva sits on the divide just south of Parry Peak and north of Mt. Flora near Berthoud Pass. In the summer this peak makes for an easy day trip. In the winter it is often climbed as a ridge run from Colorado Mines Peak over Flora, and in the spring its southern flanks tend to hold good snow. Eva’s unranked neighbor to the south, Witter Peak, also has some interesting skiing off its northern flanks. Together the two peaks make for a good combination.
We hoped the 5 inches of fresh snow we plowed through on the approach would be a foreshadowing of good skiing to come, and indeed it was. Though the skinning was definitely more work, the safe powder skiing up high was well worth the price of admission. We took a long meandering route through the basin to the south of Eva and circled up its southwest ridge to the summit.
After the 4 hour ascent it was on to the skiing, which we did in two long pitches (one off the top and down the upper-southeast face, then a second on the lower-face after crossing a flat bench).
We headed south towards Witter and took a long break at the base of its northeast ridge. While we were sitting there we noticed a solo skier following our route down Eva and moving fast. A few minutes later the mystery man popped over a knoll and we realized it was our buddy Mike, who had planned on joining us but accidentally slept in when his alarm didn’t go off. Well, he was sure determined to catch up and did so quite impressively. After letting Mike catch his breath, we threw skis on the pack and worked our way up Witter’s northeast ridge.
After a thousand foot ascent we topped out on Witter and dropped in down the east face. The first few turns off the top were steep but the snow was excellent. A hundred feet down we funneled into the “Welcome Couloir”, which also held good snow. Some ski shots:
Tired and ready for a beer, we skied down past Chinns Lake and then down the road back to the car in about 15 minutes. For those who are interested, our total stats for the day came in around 10 miles and 4,800′.
This duo made for a nice day out in the Front Range. Special thanks goes to frontrangeskimo.com, which provided us with some convenient beta. The Eva and Witter pages can be found here and here (we skied route 2 on Eva and route 1 on Witter).
Bring on more April showers!