"Kat Carson" / Columbia Point - 13,980'Date: May 22-23, 2010
RT Distance: 12 miles
Partners: Nate, Bill
The wind on Saturday was some of the most impressive we'd ever experienced. It sounded like a jet engine blowing through the rugged ridge above us and turned the San Luis Valley into a dust bowl. It didn't diminish over night either and the constant thrashing of the tent made for a pretty sleepless night.
Sunday morning Nate and I left our camp at 5:20A and put the boot track in up the OB Couloir, while Bill opted to stay in camp and hold the tents down. After cruising up the moderate snow in the main branch of the couloir, we took the narrow left fork which steepened up a bit and deposited us within a few hundred feet of the summit. The remaining snow and ice covered class 3 rock got our attention but didn't require a rope. Good thing too since we left it in the truck.
We made the top by 9am, my 84th centennial summit. The wind was still a force to be reckoned with so we didn't stay long. From the top we had unique views of nearby fourteener Kit Carson. There were obvious tracks up Kit Carson but no evidence of anyone recently crossing the Avenue.
We carefully down climbed back to the OB and plunged stepped until the slope was mellow enough for a glissade. We met five people borrowing our tracks up the OB as we descended.
Pictures (click to enlarge):
We approached in trail runners, and switched to M11's at the headwall
Fun with wind! Note the dust cloud behind.
View from our campsite
Early morning views of Columbia Point and Kit Carson
The Outward Bound Couloir
Snow scrambling near the summit
Down climbing the OB
Leave yer fishin' rod at home
Back at camp
On the way out