Ben and I had been mulling over a return trip to the PNW this spring for some unfinished business on Adams and Hood. Well mother nature and the snow levels in Washington and Oregon put the kaibash on that idea real quick. Plan B were the Tetons, but we couldn’t find enough sane lines to combine for an extended trip – all of them seemed unreasonably dangerous and the snow seemed to just stop falling once the New Year rolled around. After a huge dump in late February down South, we decided to pull the trigger on the San Juans to hopefully replicate the success we experienced in 2013. Rick, fresh off a sweet heli-trip up north in the Canadian Rockies, rounded out the group at 3 and we were off.

We set off friday morning and as we drove further and further from Denver, I could feel the anxiety and daily rage I experience due to the increasing overcrowding problem flee from my soul. Of course there were a few hiccups along the way thanks to CDOT, but even the ever watchful eye of Sauron can’t keep a couple of fellas from enjoying a few spring descents in SW Colorado. Keep reading…

In 2011 Brian and I attempted to ski Mt. Eva from the Fall River drainage but had to turn back at treeline as gale force winds threatened to blow us into the Troposphere. What we knew at the time was that on the right snow year Eva’s southeast face can offer up an excellent ski descent, and so we kept it in the back of our minds. This past Saturday we finally got around to heading up for a second attempt, and this time we were treated with much better weather and great skiing conditions.

After rendezvousing with an old friend, Derek Dreschel, we motored on up the Rainbow Road and parked the car at a switchback a half mile up from Fall River Road. From there we made our way up the drainage to Chinns Lake to the south of Fall River Reservoir. Keep reading…

The plan was to hit “Big Bad Wolf” Couloir from Willowbrook based on a brief report mentioned in Stan Wagon’s site from a couple years ago. I hadn’t seen much posted about this line anywhere and was intrigued. I knew the snow conditions would be solid, with moderate/low avy danger due to the recent storms, so another Gore slog was in store. After the Silver 2 weeks ago and CC Rider on C, figured I’d keep the momentum going. What I learned was, in a range full of potential ski lines, Red Peak is near the top of that list with regards to diversity, aesthetics and fantastic consistent skiing.

Hugh, Jon and I met around 4:30am in Morrison, made it to Willowbrook TH around 6am and were skinning soon after. The first couple miles flew by and we reached the Gore Range Trail junction, where we continued to follow the summer trail, till it made sense to follow Willow Creek in a more direct line to the base of Big Eyes. We were granted a few solid panos of the Willow/Salmon cirques early on in some open marshlands.

After 2.5 hours, we popped out of the trees almost directly at the base of Big Eyes Couloir on EE Red and took a prolonged break. We got our first small glimpse of “Big Bad Wolf” finally and saw 50% of it was still in the shade, so we had time. The winds were picking up around this time, and we held on to the hope it would relent as the day went on. Fortunately, for once, mother nature threw us a bone, and it did. Keep reading…

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