Searching for Snow in the Mosquito

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Making turns off Traver Peak with Democrat in the background.

Partners: Rick Thompson, Brian Miller
Route: Ascent of Clinton from Montgomery Resoirvoir, ski descent of Clinton’s South Face to 13,300′, ascent of McNamee Peak, traverse to Traver Peak, ski descent of Traver’s East Face to car
Stats: 10 miles, 4,000 feet climbed and skied

Rick, Brian, and I set out in an attempt to ski the South Couloir on Clinton, also known as Monica’s Descent or “The Lewinski Slot”. After taking a look at the area from afar we realized what we were really searching for was some decent snow, something that seems to be rare these days. An early start from Montgomery Reservoir had us to the base of Clinton’s East Face in less than two hours. From there it was a mellow snow climb to Clinton’s summit ridge, with some short sections of talus booting. Monica’s Descent looked a tad on the steep side given the time of year (especially this year), so we decided to take the conservative line and ski the South Face down into the middle fork of South Platte Drainage.

From there we climbed McNamee (an unranked 13er), traversed to Traver, and skied the East Face to within a half mile of the car. Coverage on Traver was good, the problem we had was the snow never softened into corn so we were primarily making turns on boiler plate. At the end of the day we each got a new Centennial, and some more training for the spring season that we hope is on its way. A few photos:

Clinton (right), McNamee (middle), and Traver receiving morning sun.

Climbing towards Clinton’s summit. Photo by Rick.

Closing in on the summit.

Turns off Clinton. Photo by Rick.

Brian.

En route to McNamee, our ski route off Clinton can be seen behind him (we skied down to a flat spot just to the right of the photo).

A cool shot of Arkansas, that line looks fun.

Traver from McNamee’s summit. 2012 sucks.

…and finally, Traver’s East Face in its entirety.

Somebody do some snow dances!