Peaks: Mt. Bross and Mt. Lincoln, Mosquito Range
Partners: Caroline Moore, Bill Middlebrook, Carl Dowdy, Marc Barella
Route – Bill and Caroline: Ascent of Bross‘ east slopes from Moose Creek, summit ski descent of east bowl
Route – Carl, Mark, and I: Ascent of Bross‘ east slopes from Moose Creek, summit ski descent of northeast slopes into Cameron Amphitheater, ascent of Lincoln‘s east ridge, summit descent of east ridge back to Quartzville
Stats – Bill and Caroline: 3,100‘ hiked, 3,100‘ skied, 5 miles, 5 hours
Stats – Carl, Mark, and I: 4,400‘ hiked, 3,950‘ skied, 7.5 miles, 8 hours
Time to get a few more ski descents after this last big storm. Carl, his neighbor Mark, and I met up at the Park and Ride off 285 at 5:30am on Sunday and headed for Quartzville where we met Bill and Caroline. Already it looked to be a great day with decent amounts of new snow on all aspects, there looked to be about 8 inches of new snow in the area. We were all skinning above treeline by 8am.
The plan for Carl, Mark, and I was to ski both Bross and Lincoln, Caroline (and obviously Bill) had skied Lincoln already and were just in it for Bross. We made good time to the base of Bross and began the ascent up the windblown ridge, nice to have a really short route in front of us.
It was amazingly hot until the wind came, then temperature regulation became difficult. We worked our way up the gentle ridge and eventually topped out at an average time of 11:15am. It was immediately apparent that the summit descent would be no problem, there were plenty of snow strips leading off the true summit in every direction.
We chilled on the summit for awhile and snacked on various delicacies, Carl and I discussed possible ski options with Bill, lucky for us he knows these peaks pretty well. We sort of agreed that skiing off the ridge towards Cameron for a few hundred feet, then dropping east into the amphitheater would be an efficient way to get over to Lincoln. Bill and Caroline readied themselves for the east bowl. Turns out their skiing was more pleasant than ours, but we were happy sacrificing ski quality for a muli-peak day.
Although we parted ways, Bill and Caroline sent me some pics of their descent. Bill said he and Caroline had a surprisingly good descent from Bross. A few of their pics:
After parting with Bill and Caroline, we headed off the summit to the north and connected a few patches of sastrugi. It was obvious we were in for a rocky descent. Not really interested in summit ski ethics, Mark ran down to the saddle with his splitboard and clicked in at the top of the continuous snow. Carl and I on the other hand stepped over a few patches of talus, skis and all, to make it go from top to bottom. Around the midpoint of the saddle we hung a right and skied mellow slopes into Cameron Amphitheater.
We skied to around 12,900‘ near the first road switchback heading up Lincoln. The skins went back on for the ascent of Lincoln‘s east ridge, the hike really went pretty quickly as we were only looking at 1,300‘ elevation gain.
For educational purposes, Carl decided to dig a pit just below the summit. We were on a leeward aspect and wanted a look at the layers just be on the safe side. Carl found good cohesion nearly throughout, with the exception of a small faceted layer that we dismissed as too insignificant to cause problems. With that we hopped up onto the summit at 2:30pm and faced a rather intense onslaught of wind and ice.
I went and took a look over the entrance of the Russian, it appeared to have some coverage but it was likely too little to warrant a safe ski. As Bill pointed out earlier, the couloir was bare two weeks previous so what appeared to be decent snow coverage was more likely just a thin dusting. Maybe if we get more snow…
All in all we spent less than 10 minutes on the summit, Mark dropped in a little left of the summit cornice and rode a line to the north. Carl and I poled off the cornice and enjoyed decent snow for the first couple hundred feet.
We skied the ridge to around 13,200‘ and swung skiers right back into the amphitheater, I had a few rock hits in this area and eventually resorted to slow, calculated skiing to avoid the sub-surface monsters.
The best turns of the entire day were had in the drainage on the way out, finally we felt we could open things up a little bit without having to fear severe rock hits, we skied all the way back to the parking lot by traversing the road embankment for a half mile, capping off a very satisfying day.