Been a while since the last couple of adventures in RMNP and thought it would be a good idea to contribute some stoke here. Joined by two splitboarders, we made an attempt at the Spire Couloir off Notchtop Mountain. This was my 3rd try this year alone with the other two ending well short of reaching the summit due to high winds. On Saturday, those high winds were back and even more brutal than before (40 sustained, gusts over 50), but luckily the temps were well above freezing.
A look at the line:
Evidence of that nasty wind:
After reaching the summit of Notchtop, we found an ideal cornice to cut to test the slope. Due to above freezing temps during the previous two days, anything that was going to release already would have, but it's never bad practice especially if you have the tools handy. Later, we found the safest entry way into the line with my two partners sawing off a section into the drop zone:
Another look at our entrance from the East Face (we entered on a ridge that separates the East Face from the south-facing Spire):
Forrest dropping in:
Entering the choke:
My turn at being able to open it up:
Barrows slashing a turn in front of Forrest:
Still not done yet:
In the bottom section after a 35-40' downclimb through some rocks:
Barrows finding his way to the bottom:
A look back at something that's been on all 3 of our minds for some time now. Feels great to finally tick it off the list.