Mount Hope – 13,933 ft.
Date: May 27, 2006
Team: Christy, Ted
Route: Southeast Bowl
We waited for Independence Pass to open and then went over to Mount Hope. By this late in spring, Clear Creek Road was snow-free as well, so the whole morning approach was actually pretty easy. After an easy two-hour drive from Aspen we were hiking up the south stretch of the Hope Pass Trail. The route is short and the trail climbs steeply right from the valley floor. Earlier in the season we could have probably skinned and skied right from the car, but this Memorial Day Weekend would only allow us to ski halfway down the valley from the summit, after hiking up the summer trail to treeline.
We didn’t really know it at the time, but there’s a more interesting, yet harder to access, couloir that descends the northeast side of the summit. It’s in pretty clear view when you drive past Twin Lakes and can be seen on the map above, descending to the little tarn in the basin between Quail and Hope. I think the route may warrant a return trip someday, maybe with Dav when he comes to ski this peak we can give it a closer look.