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| | |-+  3-10-16, Carbon Peak, West Elks, SW CO
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Author Topic: 3-10-16, Carbon Peak, West Elks, SW CO  (Read 1403 times)

Posts: 227

3-10-16, Carbon Peak, West Elks, SW CO
« on: 03/10/16, 09:02 PM »

From light powder 2 days ago on north facing aspects to spring conditions on south aspects today. 

Carbon is a laccolith like so many other peaks in this area.  Formed appx 30M years ago under stuff (didn't erupt like peaks in the San Juan's), Carbon now stands 12,088 above sea level. 

And like many laccoliths, over the eons there have been catastrophic failures in the structure of the mountain.  These benefit the skier of today ;-) in the form of nicely scooped out runs, many of which tend to be south facing.  Which is good if you like corn snow.

Objective is the "Spoon" on the south face.  Photo's never do steepness justice, but the summit is 3200 feet above this pic:

The approach (all skinning, no sleds) starts at the quiet winter TH up the Ohio Creek drainage just north of Gunnison.  First 1K up uphill is very gentle / green run type stuff.  Then it gets steep quickly:

We elected to skin up the center of the main gully basically all the way to just beneath the top... Pic is about 1500 VF up the center... with the winter TH/car on the road below and left of center...

Near the end of skinning... Getting up there and getting steep:

If there hadn't been a few inches of snow two days before, this would not have been possible/the skis would have come off:

We booted the last 300 or so VF the top.  Great views to be sure.  Gunnison is directly due south...

We were concerned about breakable crust type conditions as we skinned up, but the intense sun and warm temps softened everything nicely.  We skied from the top but entered to the right / just above the rock ridge.


More up high....

Nearing the bottom of the main gully, conditions still good, but narrowing...

Last pic at the bottom of the main gully, still some 900 VF or so above the car/TH.  Getting thin in some places, but after this choke point, the ski down from here is was all green and all good!  We were in t-shirts at this point and having too much fun skiing to stop for photo's.

Nice contrast to a powder skiing a couple days before.  Both were good.
« Last Edit: 03/10/16, 09:33 PM by TonyM » Logged

mountains will add years to your life, and life to your years

Posts: 784

Re: 3-10-16, Carbon Peak, West Elks, SW CO
« Reply #1 on: 03/11/16, 11:25 AM »

Looking good up there.  Hoping to ski some San Juan BC before too long here!  It would be good to hit the Elks and the CO Sangres this year too.
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