Ski Touring Serene Lakes
There’s been an epic amount of snow this weekend. The highways and ski resorts were all closed, so after shoveling another few hundred pounds of snow, I wanted a bit more action.
A bit of topo staring and internet searching revealed that nearby Rowton Peak seemed promising for a low risk solo tour?
Between these links:
I figured I’d do something like the below. On the hike up, I’d use the Royal Gorge XC trails until reaching the Rowton Peak Trail, which follows the ridgeline up to the peak. It seemed like relatively low risk of avalanche, due to the low angles and staying on the ridge.
Plus, it was a great opportunity to try out my new touring setup, which is the Cast Freetour system paired with Moment Wildcat 108s. Some thoughts:
- Yes it’s a heavy setup but the amount of fiddling is actually worse. I would not like to be my partner; I’d be impatient waiting for the toe piece swap. Faster with practice, maybe?
- Per this video, at the 14s mark, it took me over 30 minutes to remember that I was supposed to pull that little lever. Much swearing.
- I’d recommend Pomoca skins on basis of the Swiss herbal scent pack they include. Smells so good! I hope I can buy another pack when these herbs dry out.
First image below with the tech toes inserted, second image in the middle of a toe swap.
After I figured out my binding, the rest of the climb was fine. It was tiring breaking trail, but I don’t think I would call it exhausting?
Surprisingly, the sun peaked out and I had blue sky for a bit. That was kinda glorious.
But after gaining the ridgeline, the badness started blowing in and it felt a bit intense, so I turned around “early” before tagging the summit.
This was just as well anyway, since climbing higher would not have led to better skiing. I did quite a bit of staring at the topo on the way up and decided that skiing directly down the north face would have dumped me into a long flat runout that I did not want to wade through.
I followed my skin track back “down” the ridgeline, but there’s not actually that much elevation gain on the ridgeline, so it was slow going with all the snow.
The ridge trail joined back up with the Bogus Basin XC trail at around 7200’ and from there, it was great fun to finally make some turns, skiing through some loose trees, and finally end up back near my start point. From there, it was a short hike on the road back home.
If I were to do this again, I would skip the ridgeline completely and just ski down from Bogus Basin at 7200'.
All in all, a very good day in the mountains!