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North Couloir of Kelso Mountain- Front Range, CO

5/5/24
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Posted by skistache on 5/6/24 1:44pm

A few weeks ago when doing the Emperor Couloir off Torreys peak, I kept seeing the North Couloir on Kelso mountain during the approach. This seemed like the perfect tour for a Sunday with a late start and a dwindling window of opportunity for long lines in the front range. The skin itself is almost the same as Grays and Torreys- 3.5 miles up the service road to the summer trailhead, but instead of following the Grays and Torreys trail, I essentially ascended fall line up to the top of Kelso. This required 500 or so feet of booting in the steeper bits, but was a simple climb. The usual Colorado winds were thankfully not so brutal due to warm temps and sunshine, but I didn't spend much time at the summit as ominous gray clouds rolled in. 

Skiing the couloir is pretty easy- it's wide, 35-40 degrees in places, but with ample room to turn and good coverage. No corn, sadly, the top was settled windblown snow, and the bottom was pretty mushy, as cold snow from earlier in the week hadn't yet transitioned to corn- so skiing in the backseat it was. The road was still mostly skiiable back to the parking lot, and in a week will become totally driveable- I may have to get back out here again while the big lines are still attainable. 

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skistache
2024-05-06 20:44:06