Mt. Edwards- Goatfinger Couloir

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Mt. Edwards- Goatfinger Couloir

Submitted By: adrenalated on June 15, 2011

Administrator: adrenalated

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Route Type:
Descent Difficulty:
Season:
  • Spring
Ascent Type
- Skin Track: Easy
- Bootpack: strenuous
- Mountaineering: strenuous
Starting Elevation: 11320 ft.
Elevation Gain: 2240 ft.
High Point: 13560 ft.
Max Slope Angle: 45-50°

Approach

Begin from the Stevens Gulch trailhead.  Prior to June, this trailhead may require a snowmobile to access, or add additional mileage to the skin if you start from the winter closure.  Follow the well-traveled trail towards Grays and Torreys to a large, open, flat area at 12,200'.  Leave the trail and head south towards the ridge connecting Mt. Edwards and Grays Peak.

This ridge contains many couloirs, collectively known as The Remarkables.  The widest and most obvious of these is the Goatfinger Couloir, which leads to a notch between two false summits of Mt. Edwards (west of the true summit).

Skin or hike to the base of the couloir, switch to crampons/ice axe as needed, and boot directly up the couloir.  Skirt any cornice on either the right or left side.  From the top, either dump the skis and hike over to the summit, or turn around and prepare to ski the couloir.

Equipment Needs

Depending on snow coverage and conditions, you may need:
1) a snowmobile or an early start to reach the trailhead
2) skins or hiking boots to reach the base of the couloir
3) crampons and ice ax to ascend the couloir

You will definitely need a helmet, as the couloir seems to have an unusually high amount of rockfall.

Descent

Goatfinger Couloir is fairly wide, has a bit of a double fall line, and can reach 50 degrees at the top (although when we skied it, it did not exceed 43 degrees).  Although not an extreme line, it is still a serious undertaking that requires expert ski abilities and advanced snow climbing/mountaineering skills.  It is rated D9-D10.

Goatfinger is a major avalanche path and requires very stable snow to be skied safely.

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