Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

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skykilo
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Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by skykilo » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:35 pm

Having recently moved to Northern New Mexico, I was both disappointed and excited to learn via the internet that my friend Ryan was heading to Colorado to ski. I got in touch with him and plans were made. What to do? Once again, the magic of the internet showed me something I didn't know. I saw a trip report of the San Joaquin Couloir on TGR. Well, that looks fun!
Image
This image is a San Joaquin Couloir image by lordhelmut014 on summitpost that I boldly ganked. There is quite a bit less snow right now.

I met Ryan and Sam in Durango Friday night. Saturday morning we drove to Ophir.

The views from Lizard Head Pass are very nice.
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My first view of Wilson Peak and I really want to ski it.
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Things were really looking good when I found an outhouse above Ophir just when I needed one.
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I let Ryan and Sam pass before I did the do.
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That's South Lookout Peak and I'd like to ski it, too.
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Crampons and/or ice axes could have helped but we were kickin' it.
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Sam triumphantly reaches San Joaquin Ridge.
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Ryan at the top of the couloir.
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I skied into the couloir first. It was tracked but the snow was nice and soft. I cranked turns through the first choke and tucked into a sheltered spot. Moments later Ryan yelled, "Sky, Sam's binding just snapped in half!" After a bit of cursing I removed my skis and booted to the top to rejoin my friends. A web of Voile straps were summoned for the task and Sam was ready to give it a go.

Sam does it downhill on his improvised tele binding.
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Ryan with the weight a bit more toward the tips on his Dynafits.
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Ryan skis through the crux choke.
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Jump turn.
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This line is quite aesthetic.
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Sam and Ryan. The couloir is visible above Sam's shoulder and the web of Voile straps is visible on his left leg.
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Then we skied down Bear Creek into Telluride. The scenery and terrain in Bear Creek are superb and Telluride is a beautiful town. The food and beer at Smuggler's was good. After eating, we hitchhiked to Ophir. Big thanks to the Galloping Goose driver from upstate NY and to Jett Guy for the rides.

Thanks for the awesome day, fellas! Way to make it work, Sam!

We had a nice leisurely morning in Durango today then I visited an old friend from college. After that, I took a drive up the road to see Purgatory and make a few quick turns before the drive home.

Some pretty scenery after last night's fresh snow.
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Intriguing rock features next to the CO-NM border
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Chama River Valley scenery near Ghost Ranch.
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FIN

naomig
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by naomig » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:51 pm

skykilo wrote:Image
Looks beautiful!

Charlie
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by Charlie » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:44 pm

Holy shit. What a couloir!

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DonJuanPakistan
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by DonJuanPakistan » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:39 pm

Sweet, man! Aweome you guys linked up.

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Diamond Dachshund
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by Diamond Dachshund » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:30 am

That is a 4-star outhouse. Where did you find it? Was it just chilling on the side of the road?

Did you have some nice moonshine at the neighboring saloon?

Alex
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by Alex » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:44 am

Nice line.
It's good to see tele'rs are still keeping you entertained :D

danhelmstadter
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by danhelmstadter » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:00 pm

Awesome!! I want a poster of that thing!

Jason Hummel
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by Jason Hummel » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:03 pm

Alex, don't we always keep 'em entertained ;-)

Nice line guys. That's gets my 'awesome' all up in a wad that's for sure.

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skykilo
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by skykilo » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:39 pm

Telewhackers, just to be clear: NO, I'm not entertained.
Diamond Dachshund wrote:That is a 4-star outhouse. Where did you find it? Was it just chilling on the side of the road?

Did you have some nice moonshine at the neighboring saloon?
That outhouse was incredible. It was next to a snow-covered mining road in a small neighborhood of abandoned, snow-covered VW vans, kayaks and yurts. That valley is pure awesomeness. No moonshine to be had, but I carried a nice quantity of whiskey and some was imbibed by all. Plus Patron was had throughout the weekend.

Alex
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by Alex » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:58 pm

Sounds like an old tele-commune to me

ziff
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by ziff » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:43 am

great trip guys on what looks like a stunning line!

alpentalcorey
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by alpentalcorey » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:28 am

Super cool line and great photos!

Something about the line seems familiar, even though I've never been there. I think it was "coulior of the month" in backcountry magazine last year.

bissell
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Re: Ophir to Telluride via San Joaquin Couloir

Post by bissell » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:06 am

oh yes, wilson peak is a great ski, real nice on that prominent face, northeast i think.

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