My friend Chris Wright stopped by Crested Butte this last week to visit friends and explore some of CB's famed ski touring. CBMG/AMGA certified Ski-Mountaineering Guide Mike Bromberg and I showed Chris some of the best ski touring the Gunnison Valley has to offer. Chris and I work together in the springtime for Timberline Mountain Guides in the Oregon Cascades.
He and I warmed up on Monday with a quick tour up Gunsight Pass and explored the ridge between Wolverine and Redwell Basin. We found soft powdery skiing and amazing scenery. On our tour out, we skied down OBJ and enjoyed the Class V creek on our skis.
Here's a shot of Chris committing to the first pillow drop. Once we made this drop, we had to ski out the creekbed until we reached the Slate River.
Mike joined us on Tuesday for what I think is the best tour in the the valley. I call it the Triple Treat and it includes Red Lady Bowl, Coon Bowl and the Climax Chutes--three great descents that are all worthy in their own right. We decided to link them all up for a 6500 ft vertical tour.
We began the tour right with a lap down the Bowl. Here's a shot of me enjoying the lightly wind affected snow. It was soft enough for me to call it powder! Next we skinned back up to the ridge and toured over to the top of Coon Bowl.
This tour is particularly spectacular do its combination of amazing descents and exposed ridge traversing.
We regrouped on Coon Summit and soaked in the views of our backyard. Next we dropped into Coon Bowl for some steep and exhilarating turns. Somehow I ended up being photographed a lot today and this is photo of me skiing in Coon Bowl.
Remnants of a week old avalanche are visible skier's right. The tour concluded with a quick skin up to the top of the Climax Chutes and a long 2300 ft descent down to Slate River. A triple treat indeed!