West Face of Simpson Peak, NM Steep Skiing

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West Face of Simpson Peak, NM Steep Skiing

Post by skykilo »

Well, the line on Simpson Peak looked too intriguing to ignore last Sunday. So today we did it.
12, 00

Ryan spent last weekend at a hut near Vail. There they had less snow and less steep terrain. He sounded like he might perish along the way as we approached through the woods above Taos Ski Valley. But he's one sweet, tough dude and he persevered.

I was worried about the snow being rotten junk on top of sugar, but what we found was the best consolidated spring snow I've found to date with my limited experiences in New Mexico and Colorado. It was easy to kick steps up the whole face with no crampons.
12, 01
Naomi on the climb.

The winds were whipping and clouds dominated with limited sun breaks. But the surface snow was good enough to ski without the sun to soften it.

Ryan was lagging as we approached 13,000 ft. Here he is on the upper part of the face from the summit ridge.
12, 02

I pulled some oldskooligan shenanigans and dropped into the line from near the top on the looker's left. The maneuver involved a mixture of digging, mixed climbing, rock climbing and yoga with the select application of a ski edge here or there for the first ten vertical feet. It seemed like some foolishness not to be repeated so I recommended the looker's right entrance to Ryan and Naomi.

Despite a lack of softening, the skiing was great. Ryan skis the upper part of the face.
12, 03

We were pleasantly surprised to find a slanting vein of snow adequate to ski continuously through the midway choke.

Ryan and Naomi simul-shred steep proto-corn below the choke.
12, 04

Ryan skis toward fun steep trees in the basin below the line, with a little sunshine.
12, 05

The touring around Williams Lake really is top notch with easy access.
12, 06

This was a wonderful day, to be able to ski some "real shit" in New Mexico, with Ryan and Naomi. The skiing was of a stimulating Rockies vintage, improbable and intriguing, but with continuous (surprise) splendid steep skiing from top to bottom on the face.


Re: West Face of Simpson Peak, NM Steep Skiing

Post by naomig »

Skiing in the backcountry of the rockies is a new experience to me. I like new experiences. It was different from the deep heavy pow I've skied so far in the coast mountains, but I enjoyed the technical skiing on corn in between rocks.

I've also encountered the strongest winds ever at the top of Simpson Peak. There were periods where I just planted myself with my feet and poles so that I won't get blown over - seriously it was that strong.

Thanks for the awesome day Sky and Ryan.


Re: West Face of Simpson Peak, NM Steep Skiing

Post by naomig »

My anchor stance at the top.

Ps: I LOVE the simule ski pic of Ryan and me.

Giver don't skidder

Re: West Face of Simpson Peak, NM Steep Skiing

Post by Atraslin »

Looks like a fun ski, and sunny weather as usual.

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