Page 1 of 1

West Face of Simpson Peak, NM Steep Skiing

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:05 pm
by skykilo
Well, the line on Simpson Peak looked too intriguing to ignore last Sunday. So today we did it.
It's another exciting picture on Ski Sickness

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.
It's another exciting picture on Ski Sickness
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.
It's another exciting picture on Ski Sickness

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.
It's another exciting picture on Ski Sickness

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.
It's another exciting picture on Ski Sickness

Ryan skis toward fun steep trees in the basin below the line, with a little sunshine.
It's another exciting picture on Ski Sickness

The touring around Williams Lake really is top notch with easy access.
It's another exciting picture on Ski Sickness

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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:36 pm
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

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:32 am
by naomig
My anchor stance at the top.
Image

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

Re: West Face of Simpson Peak, NM Steep Skiing

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:29 am
by Atraslin
Looks like a fun ski, and sunny weather as usual.