Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mount Toll Ski - 6.18.2011

This tour stands out very clearly in my memory because I got one of the worst sunburns of my life on it. And I remember the date because the next day, my birthday, I had the worst migraine I have ever had in my life from the sunburn. Obviously, I forgot to wear sunscreen, and on top of that I got a haircut the day before, so a lot of skin was exposed that had not seen the light of day in a long time. Needless to say there was more puss on my ears and neck than I intend to ever see again in my life.

Once the road is open to the Blue Lake trailhead the hike/tour up Mount Toll is very straightforward. Even in late June we only hiked about a mile before we switched to skins. The ascent is quite easy and has some nice views particularly the ice on Blue Lake and the massive faces of Toll. It is also mellow enough that you can skin within a couple hundred vertical feet of the summit, and I imagine a determined individual could probably make it all the way up.

Looking south, Navajo, Apache, Shoshone, & the Fair Glacier
 I've always thought that these basins above Crater Lake and Pawnee Lake would make a fun destination for a multi day ski mission, with many steep, albeit short lines. The descent provides mellow & sustained turns with good vertical. Especially when combined with the good views that it offers, this is the type of terrain that an intermediate skier getting into spring touring would enjoy.

Daddy repping Line under Mount Toll

Old man steeze

Dropping a knee above Blue Lake

Looking back up Toll, the descent comes into view left of the summit

Me about to be very cold

Continuous flat snow 
 Its nice how low the snow persists on the way down. Allowing easy pushing, skating, and gliding back down towards the trailhead.

Short, fun lines along the Pawnee shoulder

Back at the trailhead
Overall, I would describe this as a fun line, that someone not looking to get into the gnar would enjoy. It has spectacular views of the Indian Peaks, and its proximity to Boulder and the northern Front Range is obviously a major plus to some.

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