Yesterday Tracy and I spent the afternoon climbing at the Skylight and we found excellent ice conditions. The most popular routes – Slippery When Wet, Slip Slidin’ Away, Choppo’s Chimney, and The Skylight – are in fat condition with loads of ice. The routes were getting direct sun from about 11:30 am until about 2:30 pm, which made for very pleasant climbing. Photos of the most popular routes are included below.
We had a wonderful Level 1 Avalanche Course last weekend that involved lots of learning and some great skiing. Following is a brief photo essay on the field sessions that took place during this course.
On the first day we went to Red Mountain Pass to learn companion rescue techniques. Here is Matt demonstrating how to conduct an effecient and effective beacon search using three phases: signal search, coarse search, and fine search.
At Peak Mountain Guides we occasionally conduct guide training programs to help developing guides improve their leadership skills and technical ability. Last week I had the pleasure of doing two days of ski guide training with Andres Marin, a very skilled guide who is preparing for his level 3 avalanche course. This advanced avalanche course has a pass/fail exam component and it is considered to be a very challenging undertaking.
At last weekend’s Ouray Ice Festival Peak Mountain Guides’ staff member Matt Wade and program sponsor Backcountry Access put on two free clinics titled “Avalanche 101 For Climbers”. The clinics introduced participants to factors that contribute to avalanche hazard on backcountry ice climbs and they learned specific techniques for managing risk in a climbing context.
Erica and I had a fantastic day of skiing and avalanche education near Ironton yesterday. We skied the line recently referred to as “Brooklyn’s Finest”, located just above Brooklyn Gulch on the East side of Ironton Park. It was a beautiful sunny day with excellent snow conditions and good snow stability.
Today Chad Peele and I skied an intriguing line above Brooklyn Gulch, near Ironton. The excellent snow and fine gladed tree skiing led us to call the area “Brooklyn’s Finest”. Here is a shot of Chad enjoying the great terrain and snow: