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| | |-+  July 29, 2006, Coleman Pinnacle
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Author Topic: July 29, 2006, Coleman Pinnacle  (Read 30502 times)

Posts: 627

July 29, 2006, Coleman Pinnacle
« on: 07/30/06, 01:07 AM »

A quick, half-day tour to Coleman Pinnacle this afternoon in shifting visibility and pleasantly cool temps.  I skied the snow-filled gullies below the Pinnacle, then (with one carry) all the way back to just below the newly-opened Artist Point parking lot.  Snow surfaces remain pretty good, with small to medium suncups on north-facing terrain—steeper slopes offer the best snow.  It is easy enough to ski to 4400 feet provided you don’t mind thin, collapsing snowbridges over noisy creeks in the gullies. 

The Artist Point lot was typically chaotic, with one group of at least forty people spanning three or four generations sitting around shivering between posing for photographic documentation of whatever they were there for.  Fortunately, dire warnings posted at the trailhead warned of certain trauma to self and family should anyone actually venture out for a hike, and this apparently discouraged people from actually using the trails for any reason.  I met a couple of scattered walkers but apparently had all of Ptarmigan Ridge to myself (a couple of skiers were planning to overnight somewhere out there, but I didn't see them once I left the trailhead). 

I returned to an empty parking lot.  On my windshield was a “warning” citation which suggested somewhat ambiguously that I mail the USFS five bucks…despite the Golden Eagle which I had placed on my dashboard. I am not, at this time, feeling inspired to comply. 



Posts: 563

Re: July 29, 2006, Coleman Pinnacle
« Reply #1 on: 07/30/06, 10:38 AM »

I am glad to see that the hot spell hasn't destroyed my "local" summer ski destination. There should be snow to play in when I return from barren Edmonton in August. I didn't notice many obvious opportunities for skiing while passing through the Rockies, although the hiking was great. Hopefully, our paths will cross soon, Mark.

Git down, Brothers and Sisters of the Church of the Telemark..What do you mean it is a turn not a religion?
Alan Brunelle

Posts: 383

Re: July 29, 2006, Coleman Pinnacle
« Reply #2 on: 08/05/06, 10:11 PM »

I wonder if those two skiers you saw were my son and I.  We left the parking lot on Friday morning intent on an overnight ski venture.   My son is 9 years young so we should have been obvious.

We were stopped by the steep snow tongue just past the trail junction to the chain lakes.  Normally I have no issue kicking steps through that short exposed steep section, but my son does not have the experience and strength to do that with confidence and I just thought better of that.  This trip has great potential for a young skier once past that section since the hike is generally so painless regarding elevation gain or distance.  I should have been better prepared for this and next time I will be sure that I take gear to get by that with him under low risk circumstances.  Only problem is that when you do a hike with a nine year old you cannot expect them to hoist their share of the load and it starts to add up.

In any case we headed uphill and east of the trail, set up camp on some snow at the crest and out of sight of the trail and did some skiing on the east gullies there.  So, we did have some fun even if we did not make the prize!  The night was blowing and the following morning wet and foggy, so we headed out and home early Saturday, probably just as well that we did not go so much further.  Maybe I will get enough time off to try once more with him this year.


Posts: 627

Re: July 29, 2006, Coleman Pinnacle
« Reply #3 on: 08/05/06, 11:18 PM »

Alan, I assume the skiers were PeterC, whose post is just below, and his friend.  Sorry to have missed you and your son. Nine years old and already experienced in the gnarly backcountry!  Maybe he'd be interested in contributing a report of his own, even if this requires enlisting his dad as ghost writer.

FWIW, I also got uneasy about that steep little snowfield; I was wearing my usual smooth-soled, blown-out running shoes and hadn't really hit my stride by that point in the trail.   
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