The Colorado folks have been going after the 14ers the last week or so.
Inspired by that spthomson suggested to try the Cristo Couloir. Usually I would not go after those lines this early in the season. However it was now a little different due to the warm weather we had recently that helped to stabilize the south facing slopes. (at least went you start early)
After studying the Snotel sites we saw that we had quite some good freezes in that area overnight. So we decided to give it a try. There is always the possibility to drop the East face in case we do not like what we see in the couloir.
We started at 7AM at the trailhead.
The lower bowl of the east face:
Greys and Torreys loom in the background:
The upper bowl of the east face:
Switch over to hiking mode:
The upper ridges were quite windy and made for a relatively slow going.
Finally made it! (after about 4 hours)
ManÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. Wasn't that supposed to be a nice spring outing??
It was pretty cold and windy at the top.
First look down the couloir:
What the heck is up with that road block?
I guess you could drop in further left and than go over to the main couloir. However that side looked like some billy goating would be required so we went for this approach.
We dug some quick pits and took a look at the snowpack. It was a very firm snow pack with a sun crust on top. In some shallower parts of the couloir (near the edges/rocks) there was a hard layer on top of some sugary snow. But as soon as you got to the deeper areas there was a very stable snow pack all the way through to the bottom.
Watch the road block:
After this first part we decided to wait a little to let the crust soften up. However there was quite a breeze going on up there, and it did not wanna happen on the top 1/3 of the couloir. So since it was already getting close to 1PM we dropped the part after the road block.
Spthomson pointing the Bros straight down:
I guess he enjoyed that run:
The first third of the couloir was quite crusty
The second part was about 1Ã¢â‚¬Â