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)


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


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.



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.


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.


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


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