The spring of 2017 was interesting – frustrating, if we’re being completely honest.
We really didn’t have any major storms and the season seemed to have prematurely expired, then on May 18th we got 4+ feet!
Trail Ridge Road had already been plowed starting back in mid April since we had no snow.. Needless to say trail ridge road would need to be plowed again and sure enough they worked hard and got the road open just before June 1st. Its crazy how quick things can change. Now everything was “in”. Lots of options is a good thing as it doesn’t force you into one particular mountain that could just be too dangerous etc.
Austin’s good friends Zack Giffin and Alexandra LeGrant were in town. We talked over some options and Ida seemed like the most reasonable call. Austin had climbed Ida a few times and remembered climbing it with his dad when he was very young.
Ida is one of the best hikes in the park. The standard route is the long east ridge which stays above treeline for a considerable amount of time so check lighting forecasts before heading out on this one. The views of the Never Summer Range are truly inspiring on this hike and the summit was quickly earned. We had a large group this day and we all took turns dropping in and cheering each other on while perfect corn awaited us. The line directly off the summit is perfect in so many ways and truly is one of the funnest skis in the park.
The mission also gave us the final bit of beta we were looking for in what we’re calling the 8 peak traverse from Milner Pass to Bear Lake. This will hopefully be attempted in the spring of 2018.
After we skied we had to boot back up and gain the ridge back out and ski that for as long as we could back to the trailhead. There are a few flat and uphill sections on the way out so we did have some what of a slog. The day was hot and the sun cooked us and slowed us significantly on the exit but we were all smiles.