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Winter climbs near vail?

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Winter climbs near vail?

Postby climberslacker » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:01 pm

Hey guys, Im going to Vail in march with my family so go snowboarding, but I would really like to take maybe a day trip and go do a fun peak (or two). Preferably something non-technical, but still uses ice axe/ crampons (I.e. no belays or need for rope). I don't know if there are any 14'ers that fit this description, but I doubt it. So are there any Mountains/ peaks that are fun to do in the winter as a day trip, and are non-technical and within like an hour of Vail?

-Jace
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Postby mconnell » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:03 pm

From town, walk north and look for a peak. :wink:

Look into the Gore Range. I have only been in that area from the other side, so I don't have specifics. You can find info here: http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/17 ... range.html
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Postby Dan Leonhard » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:14 pm

I did this one last January. Easy access and low avalanche potential

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock ... -peak.html

It's relatively close (near Copper Mountain, via Mayflower Gulch). Bring some snowshoes for the approach to the ridge
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Postby dsunwall » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:17 pm

I've been up Snow Peak and Valhalla in late April. March may be doable depending on snow conditions and your experience snow climbing. Not technical but class 3 I believe. You will need to know avy potential of course.

The south Gores are pretty accessible from Vail and beautiful rugged mountains, more rugged than most of the rest of Colorado.
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Postby climberslacker » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:37 pm

Atlantic looks like fun! Any more beta you wanna give me on it? I.E. what usgs quadrant it is in, or what to look for as far as going the right way. The west ridge looks like tons of fun!

-Jace
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Postby chicagotransplant » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:59 pm

Atlantic is in the Copper Mountain Quad, but you access it south of Copper off CO 91 at Mayflower Gulch. Follow the snow covered road for about a mile, usually packed down, leave the road and head for the low point of the ridge (which is actually a creek that drains the basin west of Pacific) and climb through the trees to the ridge crest. Watch for cornices on the ridge, we tried it once after a fresh foot of snow had fallen and backed off due to the cornices, but otherwise the ridge is a nice winter ascent. From the same area you can access Crystal, Pacific (its west ridge is spicier than Atlantic's!) or Drift.

Most of the southern Gore have a lot of avy paths and I wouldn't recommend doing any peak that requires access from one of the major East Vail trails in winter - when I hike those trails in April and May I cross the many piles of slide debris from last winters devastation. Its impressive, especially the ones that cross the creek and start to go up the other side! You can, however, access Bald and "Outpost" from town, both have pages here on Summitpost, and stay out of those slide prone drainages. You can also access Uneva from Vail Pass, but there is a $7 fee to park at the pass in winter, which stinks because Uneva is on the other side of the road from the fee area.

There are some other options if you head over to Summit County or the Leadville area if you don't mind a longer drive.
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Postby mconnell » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:56 pm

climberslacker wrote:Atlantic looks like fun! Any more beta you wanna give me on it? I.E. what usgs quadrant it is in, or what to look for as far as going the right way. The west ridge looks like tons of fun!

-Jace


Pacific's East Ridge from the Breck side is "interesting" :twisted: Not much in the way of avy problems but it might be harder than you are looking for. I backed off near the crux on a January climb, partly because I was solo, and partly because it was -10F and I wasn't up for rock climbing that day. If you go that route, it's a good idea to follow the trail to/from the ridge and not short cut on the side of the ridge unless you are sure of snow conditions. (Even then, be careful. When I was there, the snow was stable. Except for the nice smooth rock slab that I inadvertantly skied onto.)
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Postby Dan Leonhard » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:49 pm

climberslacker wrote:Atlantic looks like fun! Any more beta you wanna give me on it? I.E. what usgs quadrant it is in, or what to look for as far as going the right way. The west ridge looks like tons of fun!

-Jace


I just uploaded this photo for beta to access the West ridge. You break off the main trail, which is very popular, and cross this drainage:

http://www.summitpost.org/image/575555/ ... antic.html
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Postby Kane » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:23 am

I'll second Chicagotransplants suggestion of Bald Mountain and Outpost Peak. Avy safe and stunning views.
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