Monica's Descent on Clinton (and Unimpeachable)


Clinton (13857') is in the headwaters of the South Platte, just opposite the N Face of Democrat. The best ski line goes from just east of the east summit of Clinton. It is hard to resist calling this Monica's Couloir, since it is the fastest way to go down on Clinton. I skied this with Janet Jacks in June 2001. The photo above was taken from the south a week after we skied it. The photo below, with Monica's Descent prominent, was taken from Traver summit on June 2, 2007. Pacific, Fletcher, and Quandary are visible.


Here is a photo of this area taken from below the summit of Democrat. Clinton is the double-summited peak on the right. On the left is the very nice-looking SE face of Traver, which offers 2000 feet of easy skiing.


In late May, 2004, Brian Montgomery and I skied Democrat, and that led him to see some nice lines on the eastern sub-summit of Clinton. He and Jack Coming skied one on June 3, 2004. Here are two of Jack's photos. The first shows the descent line in the center; the second (showing Brian, with the couloir in the background) is a more truthful view of these late spring days: lots of walking in the forest in search of the holy grail, steepness and perfect corn. This route might be called Unimpeachable.



The following photo was taken June 10, 2007. It was probably skiable that day, but we had our eye on Monica.


On June 10, 2007, Bob Portmann and I skied Monica's Descent and found excellent conditions. We could skin right to the east summit, and the couloir was fine, except for the fact that it had been skied in recent days. Still, conditions were good enough that the other tracks and debris were not too bothersome. There is a nice line just east of Monica's -- not too steep but just as long. Hillary would be a good name for it, since Monica came between Hillary and Bill.

Here is a view of Clinton from the south summit of Red Peak, July 6, 2008. Note the clear ski. Within a couple hours there was lightning all around.


June 18, 2009. Elke and I thought about Unimpeachable, but it had a runnel and clearly was an inferior choice to the cleanliness of Monica. So up we went to the E summit, dealing with some postholing (should have used skins). But the descent was excellent. Steep at the top, but the line is wide and it was clean, white, totally untracked and free of debris, and, most important, in perfect shape regarding firmness and corniness. Lovely! Six hours r.t. Here is a view of the valley that day. The snirt was easy to walk on, but the white snow was not.


Here’s a nice view of the basin taken from high on North Star on June 7, 2011.


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