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 Post subject: TR - 6/9/07 Wheeler Mountain, NE Couloir
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 1187
Location: Denver
2007/06/09
Wheeler Mountain 13,690'
NE Couloir via Blue Lakes
6 Miles, 4200' (w/cristo couloir)

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Wheeler Mountain and its NE Couloir have been in the back of my mind since I first laid eyes on it. This weekend I needed something relatively short and sweet en route to Buena Vista and Wheeler fit the bill. I left the dam at Blue Lakes at 5:00am and hiked up the drainage between Quandary and North Star. Temperatures had been cooperating the past few nights and the snow was frozen stiff. I carried the splitboard but didn't use it until the descent. I reached the the base of the climband put on crampons and harness for my ice axe. This is the first time I used the Alpine BOD (with a daisy chain around my axe). It was quite light and comfortable, and switching the axe from hand to hand was effortless. I think it will be my harness of choice for alpine climbs that don't involve a lot of rappelling.

Snow in the couloir was 3-4 inches on top of a very firm layer. This made for great climbing.

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I topped out around 7:30am and continued on to the summit of Wheeler contouring around the west face. This was an exciting finish on steep but fairly solid rock. Nice views of the valley from the top.

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Back to the top of the couloir at 8:15am and began the descent. Turns were smooth on the top few inchesof snow. It got a little bumpy towards the bottom on old sluff slides. Down the valley I went, and I was able to ride to within a few hundred feet of the inlet to the reservoir. On the way back to the TH I decided to stop by Quandary and get a few more turns down the Cristo Couloir.

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Then it was on to join a friend for his last weekend of freedom.

Good Day.




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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:43 pm
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Location: Seattle
HikeforTurns-

Nice solo, that couloir looks great.

Also, thanks for the view of Democrat's North Face and our tracks. Was that from the Quandary summit (or top of Cristo)? I'm working on our TR, I'll try to get it up later tonight.
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"Oh man, that's like releasing a pack of wild baboons onto a keg of Icehouse next to a tied-up and gagged Lindsay Lohan." - Luca Brasi on TGR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am
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Location: Denver
Nice!

I was wondering if anyone would be owning up to 'em.

Looks like some fun was had :thatrocks:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:43 pm
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Location: Seattle
It was epic, to say the least ... we spent 3 nights in Platte Gulch and also skiied a couloir off of the ridge between Clinton and Wheeler.

Nothing like a little winter camping and pow in June :D

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"Oh man, that's like releasing a pack of wild baboons onto a keg of Icehouse next to a tied-up and gagged Lindsay Lohan." - Luca Brasi on TGR


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 Post subject: Kol'rado folk
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:06 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Kings Beach, Ca
kjkrow, HikeforTurns, and luca brasi: way to present the Colorado big lines lately!! :thatrocks: :thatrocks:

I think a trip that way next winter/spring is in order for me being that I've tons of family there and never ridden once in the state.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:12 pm
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Location: Now Oaktowntastic
Also, thanks for the idea of leashing the ice axe to the harness, rather than the wrist. I think I'll try that method sometime next season.

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