#5 Mount Ouray 13,971 ft.

Date: May 14, 2013
Team: Christy, Dav, Ted, Ian Fohrman, Matt Lanning
Route: Devils Armchair (East Bowl)

From Lackawanna we headed south to Mount Ouray, 13,971 feet. After a stop at Cafe Dawn in Salida followed by an amazing dinner with some local friends at Fritz’s, the five of us headed up the Marshall Pass Road to O’Haver Lake where we camped for the night.

Even though we were only a few minutes from the trailhead, the alarm clock sounded at 4:30. The forecast called for high temps and the giant east facing bowl we hoped to ski would turn to mush if we didn’t get going. Our route took us up Gray’s Creek, through a spectacular Bristlecone Pine forest, and up the right arm of the armchair to the near 14,000 foot summit.

Mount Ouray, Devil's Armchair

As we crested treeline in the incredible Bristlecone forest, which can have trees up to 3,000 years old, we caught our first view of the huge East Face of Ouray.

Ouray impressed us all. The Devil’s Armchair is a massive feature (though it wasn’t quite as harrowing as the name implies), take a look at it on the map. Accessing the mountain was straightforward and the ski lines from the summit were long and sustained. We actually felt lucky to nab the ski descent as this mountain sees high winds and isn’t always in skiable shape every year. The Bristlecone Forest alone is worth a visit.

Taking five above the Bristlecones. We split up on the ski descent and skied several different lines down from the summit.

Taking five above the Bristlecones. We split up on the ski descent and skied several different lines down from the summit.

Next up is a visit to the San Juans. Friends down there have said the dust has been a real problem, but we’ve decided to go check it out firsthand. We’ll let you know what we find.

Ted

Chillin' on the summit.

Relaxing on the summit.

Dav skied the center of the face.

Dav skied the center of the face.

Christy and I hit a more east facing couloir.

Christy and I hit a more east facing couloir.

Christy and I hit a more east facing couloir.

Ian

Christy and I hit a more east facing couloir.

Dav

We skied at 10am, and the snow held out well. We were glad we got the early start.

We skied at 10am, and the snow held out well. We were glad we got the early start.

Matt and Dav look back at the face before heading back down through the ancient forest.

Matt and Dav look back at the face before heading back down through the ancient forest.

Ian Fohrman-- writer/photographer, freeskier, tree hugger. ian fohrman

Ian Fohrman– writer/photographer, freeskier, tree hugger.

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