We followed the standard marked winter route for most of the journey to Elfin lakes and snow conditions were so good it felt as if it was an effortless trip in. We did take one small detour onto the summer route to check out the avalaches that had come off of Paul ridge. Skiing past the debris makes one remember why they mark the winter route so well!!
Skiing into Elfin lakes we decided to take a good break to prepare ourselves for the push up Ring Creek.
Snow conditions were excellent with a r-block test of RB5 which made us decide to take the shorter but more hazardous lower Ring creek approach. This route takes you under the gargolyles which can pose a signifigant avalanche threat. This will become obvious as you will find yourself crossing at least two major avalanche chutes swept clean of all trees, and you will have to drop down one of these chutes to access the bottom of the valley where the journey is continued. The other option if the conditions are bad is to climb to the col (saddle) between Columnar and the Gargolyes and drop down the opposite side therefore avoiding the avalanche chutes.
Further along you find the last obstacle which is a short 30m dropoff which can be bypassed by going back a bit and staying very close to the creek. Once past this we crossed the creek to avoid being to close to the walls of debris and potential rockfall to the right. Staying to the left of the creek we cruised up to the neve.... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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