2004-05-25: Winter is a sick puppy! 2004-05-29 Loveland Mountain CO 2004-05-30-Quandary Peak 2004-06-05-Mount Cameron CO 2004-06-07 Buckskin Gulch CO 2004-06-09 Mount Democrat CO 2004-06-10 : Nameless Ridge, Little Aniken Couloir 2004-06-11 Wheeler Mountain 2004-06-13 Fletcher Mountain, CO 2004-06-17: 4th of July Bowl, Breckenridge 2004-06-19: Horseshoe Mountain, CO. Back to The Matt Duffy Chronicles

2004-06-13 Fletcher Mountain, CO























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Two great friends and skiers, Eric and Dave, have been picking through mountains with me and it's been a special time. These two are a blast to explore mountains with and I highly suggest that if you have the means, you should come here and ski with us this spring. It's good medicine. We drive around scouting for lines, we hike, we ski and we take pictures of each other taking pictures. fmmddb1.jpg

The day after that awesome descent down Wheeler Mountain, Eric and I sought out mining roads in Leadville to see what we could see. And we saw a lot. Drove in past Boston Mine all the way to the base of a sweet something something. We got out and looked around as Winter ran for miles chasing those elusive marmots once again -- prompting me to leave her at home to sleep it off the next day. We gave a call to Dave, told him it was mandatory and he and Milli met us there the next morning to get after this: fm1a.jpg

It's right next to Fletcher Mountain, which at first we thought this mountain was. But Topozone later showed us it was "just a nameless thing" topping out somewhere near 13,800'. Currently the snowcover extends just below the base at about 12,000' even.

The red line is our route up to the run marked by the black arrow. The blue arrow indicates a gorgeous chute that required a bit of a scramble to enter. The bulk of it is hidden from this view and is marked by the green line dropping through the rocks.

This one was more difficult than it appears. Took us 3 hours to get to the top. It's west facing and as such the snow made for rock hard boot kicking for a large portion of the early morning ascent. When we first got to the ridgeline, we got a break from this but on the steep shoulder it started all over again. Here's the easy part: fmedmd2aa.jpg fmmded1.jpg

We signed a notepad in a jar at the summit during a long break as the snow was softening on the face. And soften it did. Another run down perfectly smooth butter ensued. Here are some shots from the upper portions of the run. They're all good shots of good swinging turns, but one of those swingers is _so money!_ See if you can find itÉ fmed2.jpg fmdb1.jpg fmed9e.jpg fmdb6.jpg fmed9a.jpg fmmd2.jpg fmdb2.jpg fmed4.jpg fmdb9a.jpg fmmd1.jpg fmed9.jpg

It eventually became time to find that rock chute exit - which was quite a lot easier to do than we thought it would be. We had skied right down on top of it without being able to see in until our first steps onto the rocks.

I sought out the very top of it, which was quite a narrow little thing with two choke points. Dave and Eric found different ways in a bit lower -- not all that psyched about the first choke which was about 2.5 feet wide. I couldn't resist it though, and for better or worse I was committed. fmmd3.jpg

It widened below that to about 10 feet wide for just enough room for two very necessary speed checking turns before choking down again to 4 or 5 feet across. What a rush! mmd7.jpg fmmd6.jpg fmmd5.jpg

Here's Dave skiing down from the spot he took pictures: fmdb7.jpg

Below that the pitch mellowed some and the chute became much, much wider. Still quite aesthetic, still perfect snow and still a great set of turns. mdb9e.jpg fmed9f.jpg

After arcing huge turns down that huge apron below, it was an easy 10 minute walk back to Dave's truck. Grabbed the reeb we'd buried in some snow, broke out the grill and feasted on burgers and wings under beautiful warm weather and coveted the marks we left on that long, gorgeous run. Wow, we just skied that!.

Last modified June 22 2004 05:05 PM

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