Date: May 7, 2013
Team: Ted, Dav, Mark Falender, Linden Mallory
Route: Pearl Couloir
The Pearl Couloir on Cathedral Peak, 13,943 ft., should be on every Colorado ski mountaineer’s ticklist. Aesthetically speaking, it’s long, fairly steep, and with big rock walls and colorful spires. From a safety perspective, it’s wide enough for a group to ski comfortably and not be on top of one another, and there are ample nooks and corners to get out of the way of any hazards from above, both on the climb and descent.
When you consider the accessibility of other valleys in Aspen– Maroon, Snowmass, Capitol creeks or Independence Pass– the road access is very good, and the tour to the picturesque Cathedral Lake is worth a trip in itself. Were it not for the fact that the couloir doesn’t top out at the exact summit, this would likely be one of the most premiere summit ski descents in the Elks.
However you measure it, when you ski it you’ll agree– the Pearl Couloir is a classic.
Our route of ascent and descent is above. Disregard the third, straight line from the mountain to trailhead, an error with the iphone’s GPS and obviously not an actual route of travel.