If you had a chance to read my previous post, you’ll know that I just put in 10 days with Colorado’s ski mountaineering elite during their mission to ski the 100 tallest peaks in Colorado (all over 13,800′). After a successful stint in the San Juan mountains near Silverton, Colorado, we jumped over the pass to access the Sawatch range south of Leadville Co.

Day one in the Sawatch was a double header of the neighboring Casco Peak and French Mountain. The snow ranged from firm and variable on the steeper and more north-facing Casco Peak to butter smooth corn on French. The standout visual moment came on the traverse between the two peaks when the sun and clouds combined to provide a dynamic show of soft light and shadow on the open faces of French. Check out the trip report for all the details.

The second day in the Sawatch proved an improvement in terms of weather and terrain as we climbed and skied Mount Oklahoma. The climbing route was a straightforward cruise up a broad shoulder, while our chosen path of descent was a steep, narrow and gripping couloir; always a perfect combination. I was able to find a high perch on a rocky tower atop the couloir and got some perspectives on Chris skiing the couloir that I’m very pleased with. Trip report here, and photos below.

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