Date skied: 2/29/20
Elevation: 10,502 ft
Partners: Joshua, Connor, Kiley
With the massive influx of transplants, even backcountry activities have had to adjust, and this morning was one of those days. 6 AM sitting in the Dino Lot, and already parking was hard to come by. By the time Connor and I were heading up the hill at 6:20, traffic was already stop and go through Idaho Springs! Thankfully, it cleared out shortly after that, and it was smooth sailing on to Frisco. After spying the line and a short coffee stop, we made our way to the trailhead and met up with Joshua and Kiley.
A warm, sunny morning and high spirits made the skin up Mount Royal quick and enjoyable. Just over an hour after leaving the cars, we reached the ridge and took a short break to identify our path down into the classic couloir known as the Coin Slot. A couple hundred feet below the ridge, we discovered the rappel anchor, where we geared up lowered ourselves into the inset line.
A team of two caught up to us as we were moving into the couloir, and so we allowed them to pass our rather large group (large considering the couloir was only as wide as our skis in certain sections).
Taking time to document our adventure, we moved one at a time, trading places as we moved down slope, making some fun turns on packed, powdery snow.
Once on the apron, the snow dramatically altered from powder into a semi-soft, breakable crust (which I discovered to my own detriment after charging hard into what I thought would be soft, fluffy snow).
A short few turns led us back to the bike path and then to the cars. A great day filled with some mountaineering, skiing, and good people!