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Easter on the snow
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Easter on the snow

 
Easter on the snow

Page Type: Trip Report

Object Title: Easter on the snow

Date Climbed/Hiked: Nov 30, 0000

 

Page By: Liba Kopeckova

Created/Edited: Apr 22, 2014 / Oct 25, 2015

Object ID: 894659

Hits: 736 

Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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Engineer and our plans

"Keep close to Nature's heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean". John Muir


The mountain is smoking
The mountain is smoking

Sunset over Engineer Mountain
Sunset over Engineer Mountain


Sometimes we plan one adventure and another one, even better happens. Our original plan was to go rock climbing over the weekend, but since the weather forecasted rain, we chose to test our survival skills in the mountains. 
We both have summited Engineer in the past, Scott even via a south face winter climb - very steep route, and definitively very unusual way to summit this semi-technical peak. 
The peak is challenging enough for many in the summer, and winter poses its own challenges. Most people use a rope for the winter climb since there is considerable exposure, we decided to go light. Deep snow approach (we used our skis), solitude and always the caution with some fresh snow and stability of the slabs above us. 
The fact that he told me about a spring accident on the ridge (same route as ours) did not add much to my bravery. Three climbers were attempting NE ridge climb, and under 2  of the climbers the ridge cornice collapsed killing one and sending the other one for many months of hospitalization and rehabilitation. Great! I prayed secretly for our safety.
The climb itself felt really comfortable.  

"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." Edmund Hillary

I kept thinking about the first known ascender H.G. Prout who was a topographic assistant with a U.S. Army Corps. He climbed this ridge in July of 1873 and described the climb as “the feelings of a solitary man toiling on hands and knees up this edge are not cheerful”. But we were cheerful. 

The summit was spectacular. Nice snowy ridge with incredible views in all directions. Peaks coming in and out views as clouds were moving by. What a way to celebrate Easter, how different from Easters of my childhood, and I even brought easter eggs with us. 


Sometimes images say more than words:

Engineer Mountain
Engineer Mountain as seen from my drive in - Hwy 550 A.K.A. Million Dollar Hwy

Skinning up
Skinning up from the Coal Bank Pass - the  route finding was interesting since there are menu ridges and small cliffs.  The summer trail was not obvious. 

Finally the view of our destination
Finally the view of our destination - the mountain  and its NE ridge looked impressive!

Engineer Mountain
Engineer Mountain - admiring the view

Heavens
Heavens - at least it felt like ascending into that territory

Nice campsite
Nice campsite on the small round hill - south of the mountain

Engineer Mountain
Engineer Mountain and our skis...

Nice campsite
Nice campsite with a view of Engineer

Approach to NE ridge
Approach to NE ridge

Grizzly Peak
Grizzly Peak B - There are several Grizzly Peaks in Colorado

V 9 sunset
V 9 sunset

Skiing to the NE ridge
Skiing to the NE ridge

Towards the summit
Towards the summit

Some loose rock
Some loose rock
 
NE ridge
NE ridge and some cornices...

Engineer Mountain
Engineer Mountain - steeper and technical  section to gain NE ridge. It did get my attention - fall would be fatal. Most people use rope here, but we went light.


 
Engineer Mountain
Engineer Mountain - lovely NE ridge. This section of the ski/hike/scramble/climb was fantastic. Easy going on a ridge, which felt stable. Spectacular scenery in all direction. To gain the ridge was a little bit more tricky since the access gully was completely filled with the snow and we had to climb on some semi technical and very exposed terrain - see photo on the left. I was looking forward to the lower descent - quick ski down to our car and a warm lunch in Silverton, which turned out to be an another adventure. There was only one restaurant open over Easter and they ran out of gas, no warm food, but still a fun town to stop in. 
Just below the summit
Just below the summit - felt like going to heaven


"I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral." Robert Louis Stevenson

Images


Comments


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hightineraryMinus 100?

hightinerary

Hasn't voted

Maybe the first ascent was in 1873?
Posted Apr 22, 2014 9:37 am

Liba KopeckovaRe: Minus 100?

Liba Kopeckova

Hasn't voted

haha, yes. thank you.
Posted Apr 22, 2014 9:39 am

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