Route: Southeast Face to Angel Snowfield
Team: Ted (solo)
I camped in the back of the truck at the Angel Trailhead. Standard fare on a solo morning for me is struggling to get up and moving. I snoozed a good hour and a half away, oh well. It looked so dark and cold out when the alarm went off.
Eventually I got up and started up the summer route. Starting in sneakers and then stashing them on the trail after switching to ski boots, I skinned up to the Angel snowfield, which I was happy to see was filled nicely. Snow cover from the Angel to the summit was pretty lean but continuous, and considering its condition the past two years (almost totally bare), the conditions were fine with me.
From the summit I connected patchy snow to the Angel, and then skied it to its end, dropping well below the summer trail I climbed that morning. I figured I could find my way back to the trail lower down. In hindsight the extra turns weren’t worth the trip out.
After an hour of traversing un-supportive, isothermic snow, in dark timber full of deadfall, I gave up and simply headed downhill. Eventually I met up with the Colorado Trail which brought me back towards the truck. Of course I still had to find the Angel Trail so I could hike back up to my sneakers- bummer. It’s always a good idea to carry everything and not leave stashed gear all around.I was granted about twenty minutes to dwell on the whole idea- as I was walked back up to get them.
While solos can be lonely, I figured it was nice of me to spare my prospective partners the misery I found at the end- and Mount Shavano was done.
A few days from now I would get Oxford and Belford, and close the chapter on skiing the Sawatch Peaks.