Almost 14er

March 22 2020

Last Sunday, Diego and I made an attempt to ski off Horseshoe Mountain in the Mosquito Range. Our initial plan was to ascend and descend via the Boudoir Couloir, though as we got closer our target line was looking a bit more wind loaded than we would like. Additionally, the road to the starting point was still blocked with snow which made our approach just over twice as long as we were expecting. By the time we reached our decision point we were already fairly late into the morning and still had a non-trivial amount of terrain to cover.

Ultimately we decided on taking the standard route and skiing the Southeastern face instead. This involved a substantial amount of bootpacking given that the nearly the entire route had been hammered with wind and was either bare, or an ice sheet. After a couple hours of scree hiking in ski boots we reached the summit and were treated to one of the better views I’ve seen in CO. The ski off the mountain was a bit spicy at the top, but manageable. There was similar wind loading occuring on our chosen line as above Boudoir, though our line was slightly mellower in both pitch, and more importantly, exposure. Once we’d cleared the first 500 or so feet of vertical the snow improved and the rest of the descent was uneventful. Well except for Kai’s epic rock drop. I encourage you to zoom in on the picture below and see what line the dog took.