Ski Culebra

This trip got started a couple weeks ago when I got an urgent email from Carl about a date set for a climb of Culebra in a couple weeks; with spots likely to fill fast, I jumped on it. I’m glad that I did, because all 20 spots filled in about four hours. For those of you not familiar with Culebra, it’s the only 14er that’s entirely on private property. During the summer it’s possible to get on the mountain more often than not for a $100 fee, and certainly on weekends. Winter and spring availability is much more limited, and in the past has had a climbing fee of $200-250; this time it was only $100. The original plan was to ski the North Face, assuming good weather. Unfortunately the weather was not good (as seems to be the case with most Culebra ski descents), but we certainly got our $100 worth of adventure. Keep in mind when you’re reading this that most of these photos have been enhanced to de-fog them and make people a bit more visible.

A major spring storm rolled in to Colorado late last week, bringing with it lots of snow. People in their right minds were enjoying an amazing powder day. Nine of us decided to take our shot and chance the weather. Besides, the forecast was for the storm to ease up and clear out by about 2pm, we would just have to fight our way through it most of the day. A few days ago things were dry pretty much to the summer trailhead, which would mean a 7 mile round-trip day with about 3,200′ of vertical. Things changed a bit, so we had a 14 mile day with roughly 5,000′ of vertical. I’d like to think Carl was saying something like “we have to go how far?” in this photo.

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Eiseman Hut, April 2010

This episode started way back in October, when Hans started organizing a trip to the Eisman Hut. There was no way to know at that point what a poor winter it would be, but we lucked out and managed to catch a pretty enjoyable storm cycle.

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