the primrose path

April 15, 2013

I’ve been wanting to get Kim’s dad out on a bigger type day for a long time. Cuz it was Kim’s dad that got me into backcountry skiing in the first place, and then took me n Kim to Italy to practice it.

Our objective was to go from Aspen Grove and get as high as we could up the Primrose Cirque, maybe to the lake, and if the weather and Senior’s knees held, to the south summit of Timp (and then ski back the way we came).

Well, contrary to all early weather forecasts, Saturday’s weather was as blustery as Pooh’s day, no sun, and constant snow flurries. Since when does a storm come in early?

Oh, and I should mention that there wasn’t much snow down low. That is, we walked with skis on packs past the first waterfall. Two years ago, on Memorial Day, me n Steve n Rob went up the Primrose Cirque en route to the East Ridge of Timp, and were on snow almost from the car.

Oh, and once past the waterfall, the snow was so firm that except for a small flat patch, we didn’t even bother taking our skis off our packs. Just booted the whole way. No big.

Senior and I were joined by Hobear and Kim’s brother Daniel and Kim’s sister Jaynann. Kind of a family affair.

When we all finally got back to the car, I heard a lot of jokes about the route and conditions. Like, what if I had emailed the crew beforehand and said “hey, how bout we go hiking with skis? We’ll walk a mile or two on dirt, then boot/crawl 3,000 feet with skis on packs, then ski variable snow for 2500 feet, the totally bushwhack a while before finally getting to walk on some more dirt to the car. Oh, and we might fall 50 feet or so into a waterfall.”

Well, if I’d put it like THAT, who would have come? See? And now they’re all happy they did. You know what they say–there is no bad snow, only bad skiers. It’s pretty rare to regret a backcountry skiing outing. We didn’t regret this one.

K, here’s lots and lots (and lots) of pics, and then a video.

jay so excite

jay is very excited at 5 in the morning

so happy to be walking

still dark, still not aware of how far we would have to walk to hit snow.

Notice how optimistic we are, some of us even carrying skis on shoulder, just waiting for snow.

Notice how optimistic we are, some of us even carrying skis on shoulder, just waiting for snow.

 

We hit snow finally, it just wasn't skinnable (by us anyway).

We hit snow finally, it just wasn’t skinnable (by us anyway)

Still happy

Still happy

Jay crawls alone

Jay crawls alone

Still smiling

Still smiling

Almost to the top of the cirque

Almost to the top of the cirque

Hobear got tired of waiting, and crawled on ahead

Hobear got tired of waiting, and crawled on ahead

Hanging out top of the cirque

Hanging out top of the cirque

Just wandering around the upper massif behind Timp

Just wandering around the upper massif behind Timp

We also skied

We also skied

Jay skied

Jay skied

Daniel skied

Daniel skied

There was some lounging

There was some lounging

Some route finding

Some route finding

More "route finding"

More “route finding”

Does it go?

Does it go?

It sort of goes. Yes, I thought I might die.

It sort of goes. Yes, I thought I might die.

Some heinous bushwhacking

Some heinous bushwhacking

And we finally ran out of snow

And we finally ran out of snow

And, here’s that video I was telling you about. (It’s about 3:40 where I thought one of us might not be coming back. Spoiler–we all came back.)

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2 Responses to “the primrose path”

  1. kanyonkris Says:

    I used my best comment on Facebook where your video first appeared. So now what have I got?

    You’re all true ski mountaineers for seeing that tour through.


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