Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mount Flora Ski Descent

Mount Flora was the last of the James Peak Wilderness Peaks ski descents that I've done over the past 10 years or so.  James peak, Witter, Parry, Eva, Bancroft, and Flora make up the range that dominates the view for westbound travelers on I-70 when they crest the hill just past the buffalo herd overlook.

The morning started from Berthoud Pass, at 5:30am, skinning up the service road to Colorado mines peak.  Since my brother Mike was diagnosed with leukemia, I've decided I need to just go at these peaks alone, which really sucks, because doing this alone is scary and just not a ton of fun.  Hopefully Mike will be fully healed in a couple of years and we will be back at it together in no time. So here I am, by myself, alone and afraid.  Let's see, boots on, ok, skins on the skis, ok I can do this, not too bad, let's go.   I skinned up the service road to just below Mines, just past Mines peak the windward slopes were blown free of snow so I bootpacked up to the summit of Flora.

It was cold and windy on the summit, I dropped down into the bowl and everything was still frozen solid, a fairly scary 800 vertical later I was down at ethel lake. I managed to bootpack back up to the saddle and then hike back to the pass.  6 hours, 7 miles, 2500 vert total on the day.

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