Argentine East Face: Voltage Drop, Amped, Short Circuit

May 28, 2009, with Elke Dratch and Maggie Gaddis. 6:40 start from Naylor Lake Road turnoff on the Guanella Pass Road. We reached the summit at 10:10 via easy slopes. Views were superb from this high point (13743'). We skied a couloir slightly south of the summit which offered easy entrance and 1100 feet of superb skiing. The climb back to our valley was 200 feet. We had to race down as the road closed at 1:00 pm. A mile from the Guanella Pass Road I dropped my pack and jogged down to the car, then drove it up the rough road to pick up the others. We beat the road closure by 10 minutes.

A cheerful Elke, happy to be on snow, approaches the top (SquareTop behind):


A shot of the east face from the ascent ridge. Our line was the couloir starting from near the upper left of the photo, but not the rocky one at the exact corner of the image:


A view by Jon Turner, who skied this on May 12 2007 ( The ever-present power line in this area suggests the name of Voltage Drop. Also a nice pun on the loss of potential energy.


Here is the front view in a nice photo taken by Layne Bracy from Wilcox summit in October. The lookers left arrow marks Voltage Drop; central is Amped; right is Short Circuit.


And below is a photo I took from Mt Wilcox on June 5, 2013. A = Voltage Drop; B = Amped; C = Short Circuit.



  Here is another photo by Jon Turner, looking down Voltage Drop:


Elke dropping voltage fast:


On June 1, 2013, Katie Larson, Chet Roe, and I headed up, this time via the Squaretop-Argentine saddle, since snow was a little thin in the valley; plentiful up high though. The entrance to Amped looked very steep, but Katie found a way in and skied this esthetic line,with a couple jump turns at the top. Chet and I opted for the easier line on the face to the north: Short Circuit. A wet snow avalanche cut loose from my traversing-in line, but was of no consequence. There were a few rollers, but overall it was fine.

Here is Katie entering, Amped.


And jumping through the steep part.


And a view of the north side of this NE face, with our easy entrance (which cut a small wet snow avalanche) into Short Circuit; Amped to its (lookers) left.


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