14er Ski Descents – Pikes Peak – May 1, 2010
Route: Crags CG/summit/Y couloir/summit/Crags CG
Team: Christy, Ted
Christy wanted this one done, and she didn’t want to wait. We had been unlucky in a couple of earlier attempts to get up the Pikes Peak Highway to ski the Y Couloir. The road closes regularly in the fickle spring weather. So as it was looking like she might be able to finish all 54 ski descents after a recent storm blew threw, and we knew the road might not open for a while, we decided to ski the Y Couloir the long way.
We started at the Crags Campground trailhead one morning, and skinned the popular summer route up to where it crosses the road. From there we followed the snow-closed road to the summit and skied down the Y Couloir. After getting down towards the Bottomless Pit, we took off our skis, hiked back up to the summit, and then skied back down to the Crags TH. It was a long effort on what is usually a short day, but I had to give her credit. Before we started skiing the Y I actually told her, or insisted, that to ski back down the road was enough to count the descent as official. But she insisted on better style, which in hindsight, was very respectable.
And the couloir skied great, so the day was even more memorable, not just for the extended effort, but for sweet north facing powder down the classic line. There are a lot of ways to ski Pikes, but the Y Couloir is, in my book, tops.