Horseshoe Mountain – Boudoir Couloir

It’s been a tough spring in Colorado for weekend warriors. It finally started snowing after a dry winter, but weekend storms have been pretty typical. We’re late in to the season and I’ve been trying to convince anyone I could to take advantage of expected weather windows. Fortunately, Jeff is on the same page, and was eager to get out. We agreed there was an early-morning weather window worth taking advantage of, so I packed, set my alarm for 1:30, and got ready for a quick morning in the mountains.

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Jeff skinning in the predawn light


The morning was crystal clear, cool, and breezy, making for one of the better overnight freezes in a while. Views of the stars and alpenglow on the peaks made the early wake-up call worth it.

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Alpenglow on Horseshoe Mountain

Turns out this is a pretty straightforward peak to ski. Head up the road toward Sherman, take an obvious mining road towards the west, gain the northern shoulder, and skin to the top. We were on the summit a leisurely two hours, forty-five minutes after starting.

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As is occasionally the case, it was cold and windy on the ridgeline of a mountain in the Mosquito range.

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It was cold enough that we didn’t feel like lounging on the summit for long. So we didn’t.

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“Firm” is a nice way to describe the ski conditions. There may have been a short window of enjoyable skiing today, but we were certainly on the early side for that. Watching the clouds building all morning, along with cool temps and a steady breeze, makes me think there might not have been much enjoyable skiing at all today. Another group was heading up as we got back to the road, hopefully they got there before the clouds rolled in.

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All in all, a pretty relaxed (albeit early) ski day, with “firm” skiing. But it was a day out in the mountains, and I needed it – firm or not.

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