Sometimes the years go by and I keep bypassing an obvious peak or line, even though getting it would just take a few phone calls and a drive. Ask why, and I’d have to say that yes I’m a list ticker, but most of the time I just go for what looks good or partners want. Don’t get me wrong — the list indeed exists. But chance intervenes, and some lines don’t get skied even after years of opportunity.
Looking back, I like that. It’s as if I’ve been saving things so every season something new and fresh is there to keep me excited. Thus, I’ve skied peaks from Road 505 in central Colorado more days than I can count, and never got a ski descent of the area’s most stunning peak: What I call “Mount Boddington,” but is also known as the “Ram Horn,” (both informal names, subject to variations).
|On Boddington west side yesterday. Williams Mountains in distance. If you kept going that way you could buy a $5.00 beer in Aspen.|
|Due to a cloudy night and subsequent light freeze of the snowpack, we opted for the westerly route so we’d get a later sunhit. That was a good strategy, as the approach up Marten Creek took us more time than I’d planned, so we weren’t skiing down till late morning.|
|The day was cloudy, with concerns about lightening and visibility. Turned out we could have stayed up on the peak longer than we did, but who’s to know?|
|View of Boddington from near 10th Mountain Betty Bear Hut The rocky summit is a scramble climb with a degree of fall potential, to save time we topped the easier twin summit that’s visible to left of the “horn.” According to the map both are the same elevation, but it looked like the Horn was a few feet taller. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to go back if we really want this checked off the list.|
Mount Boddington marked. An exact summit ski descent would be difficult or impossible from the cliffy summit block (about 75 vertical feet), but several excellent routes start just below the cliffs. We did the westerly route, but the east curving cirque is said to be terrific.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.