This route climbs the south face of the mountain via the Blue Lake Bowl and is the favored ski descent route on the mountain. This would also be the easies way to the summit for summer hikers or the descent route for technical climbs.
The skiing is fantastic with 1500 feet of continuous skiing only a few steps from the exact summit. Most of the route is steep in a wide open face that joins with a broad bowl. Rated Expert in Indian Peaks Descents, its steep but wide with plenty of room for turns and the runouts are safe.
From Brainard Lake, hike the Mitchell Lake trail past Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake. Cross Blue Lake (usually frozen) up a series of plateaus to the bowl. Zigzag up the bowl tending right to where the saddle joins the south ridge. Climb the south ridge. This is nearly the ski route and can be done entirely with skins. No axes or crampons required. ~12 miles RT from the winter closure at Braniard Lake.
|By Brian Story|
May 4, 2007
In early spring, one can also ski the first ~300 vertical feet of the South face before skiing out onto beautifully exposed snow ramps on the East face. The line is obvious. Provides a good, albeit much more serious, alternative to the south face.