Potosi

Climbing up Potosi's couloir, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Yesterday morning Ann Driggers and I set off to hike and ski the big north couloir on Potosi Peak – one of the most aesthetic couloirs in the San Juans, and a line that has been high on my to-do list for many years. With an ample June snowpack, sunny weather, and freezing temps at night, this was a perfect opportunity to get it done! Here is Ann climbing up the steep couloir.

On the summit of Potosi Peak, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Ann arrives at the summit! In the background is the Amphitheater above Ouray, and the Uncompahgre Wilderness above that.

Yankee Boy Basin and Mt. Sneffels, June 2011

[+] View it larger! Yankee Boy Basin and Mt. Sneffels, as seen from the summit (13,786 ft). Still a lot of snow up here!

Snowboarding from the summit of Potosi Peak, San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Photo by Ann Driggers

Ann’s photo of me snowboarding off the summit, with the endless San Juans in the background.

Snowboarding the north couloir of Potosi Peak, San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Photo by Ann Driggers

Me again, snowboarding down the couloir. The couloir is well shaded, the snowpack had frozen solid the night before, and the wind was keeping it cool during the day. Thus, the snow was still firm when we dropped in at noon, making the line feel even steeper and scarier that it could have been. We probably would have had to wait at least several hours more for the snow to soften properly in the couloir, but then the rest of the run would have been slop. Tough call…

Skiing into Weehawken Basin

After exiting the couloir, the snow quickly changed to the soft spring corn that we love so much!

Potosi Peak North Couloir, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

A recon photo of the couloir we climbed up and skied/snowboarded down (taken on June 30 last year).

Hiking into summer

We skied all the way down the basin then hiked four miles out the summer trail. Success!

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