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| | |-+  June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
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Author Topic: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation  (Read 4768 times)

Posts: 826

June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« on: 06/04/12, 09:17 AM »

Ben Starkey and I set off in the dark Saturday morning with the hopes of at least stacking time in our favor. When you are old and slow, you need every advantage you can get. Getting to virgin lake in the dark is easy, even without the trail, you just go up.... With fog and kith barely dawning,Blanca lake on the other hand almost deceived. I fell victim to technology and asked Ben to check the GPS. No Troublesome mistake, and we completed both of our earliest turns ever. pre 6 am, on our traversing decent to Blanca. we breezed across without skins at a brisk pace and where happy to be on the other side.

The Columbia glacier is soooo flat. The good thing is it makes it so easy to skin with your head up and enjoy the scenery. Hard not to do with a bazillion water falls flowing all around. some of them appearing and disappearing quickly back into the snowpack from where they came. Ears become a tool for safe travel as you listen for the roar off water under you feet. It was mostly cloudy but it added to the mystique by only showing bits and pieces at a time. "that line looks good!" until the 200' cliff below is revealed. 

The flatness of the glacier makes everything else around look improbably steep.deceiving.. Our route for the day was to take us up to the col in between Kyes and Monte Cristo peaks. Tensions eased once on route. The snow was soft enough to get easy footing and once through the lower crux was only moderately steep. We aimed off for what I was pretty sure was the entrance to a couloir I had seen with Kyle a couple years ago. Ben put the booter in to the small col.
starting the climbing

nearing the col

After a Little investigation the Kyes couloir was there, and looked good to go.

Ben ripping...

While spending some grand moments relaxing on the Pride glacier we discussed the options.. The snow hadn't refroze over night except for at elevation, and it was getting a little warm. We set in on climbing to the east ridge of Kyes and checking out the Goblin Couloir. A quick skin up a short but steep slope revealed a lower angle, somewhat dirty couloir that appeared to run long and clean to Goblin lake. Also appearing was very nice steep smooth snow above, so we continued to climb to a high point on the east ridge. Topping out we where greeted with a white out.


Admiring our line from the second climb.

Ben rolling off the east shoulder..

Other then one short reclimb after a near cliff out above the Goblin glacier, the decent was continuous, and continuously fun! Recent rains and warm temps have sent lots of big dirty slides into the Goblin valley. our route became a gauntlet of creeks cracks and water crossing until the inevitable bush whack. Moderately hard, I re comend staying skiers right no matter how much better the left looks up high. Ended up on the fs road, a short walk from the truck and waiting ice cold beers.

Turns in the Goblin

looking back up from Goblin lake.

Fun tour with a bit of an entry and exit fee.


Kyle Miller

Posts: 636

Re: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« Reply #1 on: 06/04/12, 09:55 AM »

RIGHT ON!!!!!!
Solid work guys

In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............

Posts: 362

Re: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« Reply #2 on: 06/04/12, 10:47 AM »

Hah! I came within a few seconds of heading there yesterday before ending up further east. That would have been fun to run into you.  Great trip Scott. I'm surprised that you can still across Blanca lake

Posts: 213

Re: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« Reply #3 on: 06/04/12, 11:03 AM »

 Glad you finally got down that on your skiboard!

Posts: 440

Re: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« Reply #4 on: 06/04/12, 03:12 PM »

Nice one Scott! Don't tell me you have a hut up there too!  Any plans for heli access?

Posts: 374

Re: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« Reply #5 on: 06/04/12, 06:34 PM »

Solid! Thanks for the invite as well.


Posts: 198

Re: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« Reply #6 on: 06/04/12, 07:08 PM »

Cool trip in a neat (and rugged) area--am familiar with those fees you paid!

Posts: 114

Re: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« Reply #7 on: 06/04/12, 09:49 PM »

so a midnight departure is "leaving in the dark" and 4 hours of treacherous, exposed bushwhacking is "a bit of an exit fee"? scott my friend, you are a master of understatement!  or maybe i've still got a ways to go before i can call myself a true cascadian snowboarder.  either way, it sure is fun to see how many superlatives and unprecedented events can be packed into a single tour.

a good tour starts with a good bbq.

by 2am we had finished the whiskey and loaded our packs.  time to hit the trail.


4:20am, time for a break!

5:15am, a new record for earliest first turns of the day!

after a bit of traversing through a steep obstacle course of tree wells, we made it to blanca lake.  bits and pieces of the surrounding peaks sporadically appeared through small windows in the clouds as we crossed the lake.

scott was having too much fun climbing to stop and put on crampons.  someday i'll get my hard boots dialed in and maybe i can be a badass, too.

a mere 8 hours after our departure, we dropped into our first line.

it was a bit foggy, but the snow was nicely edgable and though the deep runnels presented a bit of a hazard, they made for easy sluff management.

that was fun!  let's go find another...

heading into the goblin zone... not foreboding at all...

after a winter of denial, scott finally admits to enjoying corn snow.

exiting the goblin couloir

the goblin creek exit started out deceptively easy.  but we soon found ourselves traversing the sides of a steep chasm, kicking footsteps into wet ferns and clinging desperately to alder branches above cliffs that dropped into the raging water below.  we would struggle and fight to advance a few feet, only to find our path blocked again and again by deep washed out gullys full of loose rocks.  some we climbed around, struggling uphill on one side and carefully "belaying" ourselves down the other with branches.  others we climbed down into and scrambled across, each step sending a torrent of loose rocks cascading into the water below.  scott made steady progress while i spent a lot of time clinging desperately to my whippet buried in the soil and swearing.

the 2 miles of "hiking" took us 4 hours to complete, but they became a distant memory the moment my boots touched the gravel road.  damn those beers tasted good!

on the way home, i celebrated my new freedom.... to buy whiskey at safeway!!!!!

thanks, scott, for the great tour idea and for putting up with my grumbling during the last hour.  next time you tell me to stay on the right side of the river, i'm going to listen!

« Last Edit: 06/04/12, 09:55 PM by bs. » Logged

Posts: 124

Re: June 3, 2012, Kyes peak circumnavigation
« Reply #8 on: 06/04/12, 10:08 PM »

Viva Cascadia!

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