Pettingell, South Face (Elke Dratch, May 2007)



This is a classic with easy access from Herman Gulch and a superb south face. I am always amazed by how rocky this face is in winter -- it is easily seen from A-Basin and other locations around Summit County. But then, in April, it becomes white as the snow becomes heavier. Elke Dratch and I skied it on May 10, 2007 (I also skied it back in 1998), and the corn conditions from the summit were just perfect. We had 1800 feet of excellent skiing from the 13294 summit, and then a nice cruise back to the car, with about a third of mile of walking near the end. One skis right from the summit. As for the approach, the easiest way is to cross from right to left under the face to obtain the prominent saddle W of the peak. But today we just headed straight up once the summit was in sight.

Update: On May 3, 2008, Bob Portmann, Jonathan Kriegel, and I climbed the peak to near the summit and skied the prominent wide couloir that, in the photo above, drops from the east end of the summit ridge. A large snowstorm a couple days earlier meant we had a lot of fresh snow, but it was very heavy and the skiing not easy. On the other hand, the coverage was phenomenal, and we skied all the way back to the car.

June 6, 2016: Randy Garrison and I hoped to ski the northwest face, but it did not look great, so we skied excellent corn right off the summit down the S Face.

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