Bald Mountain: Baldy Chutes

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The Baldy Chutes on Bald Mountain (13679') are very popular. They stay good quite late in the season and offer steep, but not extreme skiing (i.e., between 35 and 40 degrees). I have always approached these by French Gulch and climbing the chutes (or the shallow couloir left (south) of the chutes). But shorter approaches are possible from the Breckenridge side for those willing to car shuttle. Both main couloirs are great. The north one is a little straighter, but really there is not much to choose between the two. One can usually ski right from the summit. I've skied these twice (with Randy Garrison; and with Jonathan Kriegel, Bob Salazar, and John Hutchinson). Photo taken from shoulder of Guyot on May 12, 2007.

On May 26, 2008, Bob Portmann and I went up but the weather was poor so we did two of the more northern lines and then back to the car at 10645 feet on the Mt Baldy Road. We got 5000 vertical on this day and snow conditions were good. On June 7, 2008, Bob and I were joined by Matt and Katie Jones and Sean Hanagan. We climbed to the summit from the Mt Baldy Road (drove to 11000'). Lots of rocky areas on the ridge. We then skied what we thought was chute #1, but in fact it was #2 (to the North). Odd, since we skied right from the summit. On descent we had a couple of inches of nice new snow for the first several hundred feet, followed by perfect corn below. Katie and I then climbed back over the ridge to get the cars while the others continued down French Gulch Road. We are still undecided as to whether the best way to climb to the summit is straight up a couloir or via the long ridge.

Here is a shot of me in the middle of the descent. (Photo: Matt Jones)

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