Route Description: From Summit lake, followed a NE facing chute to the NW ridge. Followed along the ridge to the summmit. Skied from the summit to the main north facing chute. Skied all the way to the road.
Data: Began from Summit Lake at 7:30 am (12,830 ft). Scooted across Summit Lake on my skis. Put skins on to ascend E-face, then eventually put on crampons. When we got to the ridge it was mixed rock and snow which required alternating crampons on and off. Followed ridge to the summit (14,264 ft). Summited around 10:15 am. Skied from summit down the backside to a col which allowed entrance to the N facing couloir. Had to take my skis off once for a short section of boulders, no loss of vert. Took couloir and misc lines back down to summit lake, skied the whole way. Reached lake around 11:15 am. Total vert climbed and skied: 1,400 ft. Total time: 3h45min
Relevant Links: TGR Trip Report
I was looking for something easy to do this Saturday since I still hadn't completely recovered from Memorial Day weekend where we attacked four peaks in 3 days, with wake-ups at 3 or 4 am each morning. Mt. Evans was on my list, and it seemed like the right time to do it. My friend Dustin isn't much of a backcountry snowboarder, but he did want to come with me once this spring, and he also wanted to try out his new crampons.
We arrived at the entrance gate before it was manned with employees. Most folks know about the Evans road fee debate: that the NFS shouldn't be charging people fees to use the road. If you plan on not parking or using any of the facilities (picnic areas, bathrooms) on the road, you don't have to pay. Otherwise, you pay $10. We were doing all of the above so we paid the $10 entrance fee using the machine at the gate.
When we arrived at Summit Lake, the road was gated to the summit. I think it was opened about an hour or so after our arrival.
We discussed our routes from Summit Lake as you could see the entire bowl from the parking lot there. We saw where we wanted to ski down, on the first major chute on the lookers left, close to the summit. Since Dustin wanted to try out his crampons, we opted for a snow ascent up the east face of the bowl. We looked for a route without much of a cornice on top. We would then follow the Northwest ridge to the summit.
We approached the NW ridge via a mellow couloir that I was able to skin up most of the way. The ridge had varied conditions; sometimes lacking snow and other times asking for crampons. When we neared the summit, we passed a lot of skiers who had driven up (shuttling) who were going to ski some of the nearby couloirs.
I was able to scope my ski route out on the way up. I opted to ski one of the main north-facing chutes. I was able to ski off the summit and make my way gingerly into the chute. Once I got there, it was quite fun!
We were able to ski all the way back down to the road and then walk along the road for a couple of minutes back to the Summit Lake parking lot. It was a fantastic June ski day!!!
Picture of the Line
Photos courtesy of Dustin Sysko
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