Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Spoon - Gothic Mountain - 1.19.2013

Rolling into Crested Butte at 10 this morning was admittedly a bit late to start for a tour. Fortunately, Brittany hadn't already headed out for a ski and suggested that we check out Gothic's south facing spoon. By 11, we were on the sled and headed up Washington Gulch towards the base of Gothic. The skin started in beautiful aspen glades which thinned as we climbed higher, the views getting better and better along the way.

Mount Owen with Coneys in the foreground:

Moonrise over The Spoon:

Higher up the skinning was a bit challenging for me with plenty of hard switchbacks up the steep flanks of Gothic. Brittany slaying the skin with the Town of Crested Butte and Whetstone Mountain behind.

Cinnamon and Treasury:

Purple Mountain:

Augusta and Mineral Point:

Mount Crested Butte and Snodgrass:

About 100 yards from the top of The Spoon, the snow suddenly went downhill becoming markedly unsupportable. Knowing that the shallow snow at the top of the line would hold similar potentially dangerous snow, we called it quits and prepared to head down. Sitting at 12,000 feet with no wind and beautiful mountains in every direction is about as close to heaven as I think you can get - I could have stayed there forever, but with the sun beating down on the south face it was time to head down.

Brittany powering through some wind crust up high:

transitioning into more consistent snow:

a lifetime of lines:

approaching the choke...

skiing the apron below the walls of The Spoon:

and wrapping it up with some meadow skipping!

Looking back at the line, what a beautiful day!

What a fun line! The steep skin itself was definitely exhilarating, followed by 2,000 vertical feet of continuous steep turns. Can't wait to get back on Gothic!