Route: North Face
Team: Christy, Ted, Chris Davenport, Scott Rinckenberger
If you haven’t been tuned into the Centennial Skiers Project, to sum it up quickly I’ll say it’s been a really good spring. Christy, Dav, and I (along with an assortment of friends) crisscrossed the state, skiing high-13er summits day after day. Not only has it been really productive, but it also rated pretty high on the old fun meter.
Of course the whole idea to ski the “Centennial 13ers” was largely inspired by our love of the 14er skiing project days. So it was really cool to get to ski a favorite 14er line– Missouri Mountain’s (14,067 ft.) North Face– while on our Emerald Mountain (13,908 ft.) ski attempt. Since our approach to Emerald took us over Elkhead Pass, and thus went right around Missouri, we figured it was actually a more direct line back home to just climb over Missouri on the return trip, and cruise the north facing corn. Measured in vertical feet gained, it’s only slightly more than returning home via Elkhead Pass.
So climb and ski Missouri we did, and it made for an awesome finish to the day. I have to say that of all the skiing options the Sawatch 14ers offer, this is in my opinion one of the best, if not the best. The access is easy, it’s technically straightforward, there are ample choices of couloirs, and it seems to always be skiing well (My other favorites are the North Face of La Plata and the North Face of Tabeguache).
From the looks of things it should continue to ski well for a few weeks, and you won’t need to dig a snow ramp like we did back in 2005. So go hit Missouri and see what really good 14er skiing is all about.