Mini AK

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Mini AK

Submitted By: Y.C. on August 19, 2011

Administrator: Y.C.

Views: 1283 page views

Featured Descent

Colorado » Front Range

The Citadel

One of my favorite lines in the front range with lots of options.  You can ski the couloir between the double summits for a nice 40 degree pitch with rock wall on either side. 
You can also ski the Northeast face.  Not sure on the slope angle but it is a open face with limited exposure. 
You can ski the South East face for a more mellow descent (better if you started at Butler Gultch) with amazing terrain and small playful features all the way down. 
**Take all necessary avalanche precautions.  It is not uncommon to get a lot of wind loading in this area due to its proximity to the divide.**

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Details

This area is a steep bowl off the SE face of Knobtop in Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was believed to be first skiied in April 2011, due to perfect conditions and timing.  There are 9 potential routes in the Mini AK cirque.  Some of these lines can go at 60degrees and the easiest goes just above 50 degree angle.  This area has huge avalanche potential combined with mandatory airs and questionable safety zones.

How to Get There

Enter Rocky Mountain National Park from the East side and make a Left towards Bear Lake.  Follow this road until it dead ends at the Bear Lake parking area and Park.  Here one can go two ways to hike to Mini AK.  The route that was taken by the first decent party was to the top of Flattop and then around the Ptarmagin glacier past Notchtop approaching Mini AK from the top.  You can approach from the bottom and climb the ski route or maybe the east ridge of Knobtop could access the top.  This may require some smart winter climbing skills.

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