Heaven Hill

As we’re getting ready in the morning, a familiar-looking guy in the parking lot says, “Hey, didn’t we see you last night? My wife’s arm was in a cast…” He’s headed up to do a backcountry run with some friends. While I’m still thinking back and realizing Aaron’s wife did only have one ski pole, Ann asks him if they’ll take me. Can I be ready in five minutes? I start scrambling.

Aaron’s friends do some runs while we climb the hill. They’re waiting when we reach the Millenium lift – I’ve put us about 10 minutes behind schedule. We start up Deception peak. We’re above the clouds today, making for great views.

Tesuque Peak with clouds below

The ridge traverse to Lake Peak can be exciting in summer conditions. In some cases the snow makes it easier to find good footholds, but carrying the skis is awkward. Aaron calls one section “the offwidth”. We skirt around it.

Another part of the ridge narrows to the point where we straddle it.

The Bronc

Once over Lake Peak, we stop for snacks on a sheltered saddle, then head for the hill. The turns are sweet in fairly open trees, with plenty of powder for all. The trees close in a little lower down where the grade wanes, but the obstacle course is still more fun than hassle. Eventually we hit the Windsor Trail and start the long slog back to Aspen Basin.

Photoset

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