Skywalker Couloir was on Jeff and my wishlist for the season so when we'd heard that it was in we decided to give it ago. Though Brian had been up it twice before we talked him into joining us.
We met at the trailhead about 5:15 and were hiking up the trail about 5:30. We reached the base of the couloir a little before 7:00 where we met up with several familiar people I'd hung out with on various mountain web sites and message boards - Doug Shaw and Wes Go.
After exchanging hellos we set off up the couloir. The snow was fairly hard and not very steep at the bottom and we cruised up the lower section. About halfway up it got a little bit steeper and our pace slowed. The top was pretty steep and the snow was very hard. Right before the top I deployed my second tool and was happy to have it. Although not necessary, it was nice to have an added, extra sense of security on the very hard, 60+ degree snow. We topped out into the sunshine about 9:00.
The weather forecast hadn't been that great, but as we topped out we couldn't find a cloud in the sky. Conditions looked optimal for a traverse over to North Arapaho Peak too. We had a quick snack and set off. The traverse was a lot easier than I expected - perhaps the snow covered a lot of the difficulties. Really the only two sections that even made us stop to think twice were the famous slab, and a steep snow chute where the snow was pretty crappy. Other than that the traverse was a piece of cake and we did it in about an hour and fifteen minutes.
We took another snack break on the summit of North Arapaho Peak before making the return trip. We arrived back on the summit of South Arapaho Peak at about noon. We managed to find a small snowfield to glissade down on the way back to the car. With a leisurely pace we made it back to the car at about 2:00pm.
What a hoot! Great video and audio editing man, I'm still grinning. Also, that pull-away shot of me near the end on top of the slab crux (on the ridge), it looked like I was on top of some crazy spire or something. Great shooting!. Great day and friends!
superb video, like always. I particularly like the song selection on this one, very well played sir. Looks like you had a great time, and looked like a pretty fun climb. My favorite part was the rock... Look forward to getting on Bell Cord with the crew in a couple of weeks.
In a sense it was a bit of a Hoot. You guys were following my and Kevin's footsteps from Saturday when we did the same route (excepted finishing Skywalker on Han Solo). Brian, I think we met last March (2006) on our aborted attempt of Kelso Ridge. Great video!
Whoa! Who is this? You guys were from the Academy yeah? Oh man, get me your contact information again because last year was utter hell-shit for me and I lost a lot of things. I can get you some photos.
Thanks for the steps every so often up skywalker, I chopped a few more here and there to make the upper section of Leia a bit less dicey.