Hassell (13215'; May 25, 2016)

After a failure in early June 2014 (weather), I finally got back in late May 2016. Conditions were perfect and I kept sneakers on for 2.5 miles up valley. I was solo, so had a light paclk (no avy gear). From the saddle SE of Pettingell there are two choices: steeply up to the left to gain the high ridge, which is then flattish to the summit; or across the south bowl and then up the gentle south face. I chose the former since one hates to lose altitude, but I suspect the latter is overall better. For me it was about five hours total and 9.8 miles.

Approaching the summit area. One sees the first snow horn very clearly from Arapahoe Basin or Loveland Pass, but it is not the true summit. I feared the distant bump might be, but in fact that flat middle bump is the true summit and it takes only a couple of minutes to get there from the first horn. This area provided a superb view of Pettingell’s steep NE face.


The south face of Hassell. I skied straight down from the (hidden) summit, but then turned hard skier’s right so as to cruise back to the 12000-foot saddle I needed. I ended up at 11850, so the climb up was pretty easy. From that saddle one descends by first going a bit north, thus avoiding thick trees. The cruise down Herman Gulch is extremely pleasant and I kept skis on until 10800 (car was at 10300).


And here is a shot by Andy Moore on this same day, taken from a peak to the south at about the time I was approaching the summit.


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