Solo ski of the East Face. Overcast day, so the snow never really softened up. Crust sastrugi up top, but the air temp was warm enough that below 12k the turns were decent. Some bare patches near the summit, so not a continuous ski off the top, but was able to piece snow together in the lower trees and didn't have to take the skis off until the car.
Up the east face to start the traverse
A man, a woman, a goat, a ptarmigan, a deer, a pika.....
Ascended East Ridge to Father Dyer and traversed the connecting ridge to Mt. Helen. Super windy day w/snow made the ridge a bit more spicy.
First climb of the year...it hurt a little. http://www.coloradoascents.blogspot.com/2015/06/mount-helen.html
Beautiful day, warm and no wind. Still lot of snow knowing its already end of may.Easy and very scenic hike.
Very windy day. East slopes were mostly free of snow - it was blown off, but at lower sections we got buried it deep snow.
From Spruce Creek TH.
Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly and I set off for Francies Cabin (11,360 feet) along Crystal Creek in the Tenmile Range. We got a later start than hoped for and didn’t leave until 8:10 PM, which is after sunset. Because it was after sunset and because we thought that we had forgotten our lights, we quickly snowshoed up the trail as quickly as possible.
We chose to take the shorter, but much steeper route. The second half of the route was completed by starlight. We were afraid that finding the cabin would be difficult, but luckily we found it without any problems. We had made the route in one hour, half of what the guidebook said it would take.
After getting to the cabin, we found out that we had actually had our lights stashed in Kessler’s backpack all along! There were several other people in the cabin as well.
No one else wanted to climb a peak, so I set off alone towards Mt Helen (13,164 feet). With the recent storms, I chose Mt Helen because I thought Peak 10 (which was the original plan) would carry less risk. The snow was now the deepest of the season and much deeper than it was in the mostly dry winter.
I chose to climb up the rock ribs in order to reach the ridge because I thought the snow would be shallow and not risky. The rock ribs actually turned out to be quite difficult and I had to use my iceaxe on the slope between the rocks. I probably should have taken the standard route. There was a little unstable snow, but most of it was more stable than expected.
Once on the ridge, the snow was stable and it was a direct climb straight to the summit. It was a bit windy, but otherwise the weather was great.
I took a rest on the summit in order to take several photographs. I was the first to sign the summit register since November 8 2012, but wondering how many ascents of the peak there were over the past winter season. Probably not that many, but at least a few.
I took the about the same route down, but had a nice glissade next to the trees. Because it was still fairly early, the snow was pretty stable, but I wouldn’t want to do it in the afternoon. The climb had taken 2 hours 20 minutes up and 40 minutes down.
Nice, easy slope. Made it to the high point on the ridge between Helen and Father Dyer on my way to Crystal. Clouds were building too fast for my comfort and I decided to bail down a grassy slope into the Spruce Creek drainage. It was the right call because the storms rolled in shortly after.
What a great day! Headed up the unrelenting slopes of Helen and then traversed to Father Dyer and then on to Crystal. Wanted to head over to Peak 9 and 10, but were stormed off at Crystal.
Climbed as part of the Helen-Father Dyer-Crystal Ridge in near perfect weather. Very fun ridge.
My first attempt being twarted by late-morning lightening, I was happy to return to Mount Helen. The variety of wildflowers on her east slope make the uphill slog much less painful. I really enjoyed the views from the summit, and the weather held out allowing us to kick back for close to an hour and eat, sun ourselves and relax. Partner: Carol.
Nice steep tundra to get your legs in shape. Great views of Father Dyer and Crystal and basin below. Enjoyable nap on the summit.
Nice solo hike in early spring conditions.
Skied from the summit!
First peak on my loop around the Spruce Creek drainage. Continued on to Father Dyer then Crystal and finally Pk 10.
Climbed with gurlyclimber as part of a traverse from Father Dyer Peak. The class 3 ridge that connects the two is really fun, a sort of mini-Ellingwood Ridge (LaPlata).
First of three ascents this day, good views from this mountain!