Grizzly (13998'), North Side

A view of the N Side of Grizzly taken on Memorial Day, 2010. Grizzly Chute is the prominent face on the right, while the face a little east of that is called the Northeast Shoulder. (by Joel Bettner)

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Here is a view from the slopes of Blarney, the summit just N of Independence Pass. May 30, 2012.

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I first spotted this good-looking face from Independence Mountain, and later learned that the ski run is a classic. There are two lines. The photo below shows what is called the Northeast Shoulder, but in fact that is a respectable couloir, pushing 45 degrees in places. The true Grizzly Chute is just to its right. On June 14, 2005, Heather Glyde and I got into the couloir, but it was too mushy to climb, so we had to settle for a couple hundred feet of reasonable skiing. But the exploration was worthwhile and I shall return. On September 8, 2004, Jonathan Kriegel and I climbed Grizzly (13998 feet) from McNasser Gulch and noted that there was plenty of snow in the chute.

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Success: On June 17, 2007, Bob Portmann, Jonathan Kriegel, and I booted up the Chute and skied down in mushy conditions. But nothing rolled very far so I believe it was a safe trip down. Lots of horrible breakthroughs much lower, but overall I count the day as a fine success. The first photo below shows two fellows from Glenwood Springs who climbed it on the same day; they are on the final ridge climb to the top of the ski run, with the beautiful Grizzly Gulch valley below.

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And here is Bob starting down the mushy chute. The lake at upper rear is nicely frozen: the same was not true of this slope.

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And here is Jonathan on the first pitch, Grizzly Lake below.

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