Today a crew of us set out and skied the San Joaquin Couloir. This awesome line has been on the top of our “to do list” this season and today turned out to be a perfect day to check it off. The San Joaquin is one of the most aesthetically beautiful and “perfect” couloirs in the San Juans and honestly, probably anywhere. This thing would look more at home in the Alps than the Rockies! It rises to 13,460 feet, is around 50 degrees and is pretty much a straight, narrow shot for around 1,000 vertical feet. It is one of the crown jewels of the San Juan Mountains and something Brian and I have been eying since we first saw this beauty when we got to Telluride.
After a tough skin up to the summit of the San Joaquin Peak, we were treated to stunning views and awesome conditions despite the fact we were the second crew of 4 up their today. Dropping in was exhilarating and super fun. The snow was blown into the couloir and was deep and sluffy. Taking our time,we jump turned and slashed our way through the long chute, loving it the whole way down. Exiting the couloir into the apron below, I felt a rush of excitement and satisfaction skiing such a special line. Even though we may not get the most snow in the San Juans, the terrain here is simply AMAZING and it’s lines like these that make this area so unique! Enjoy the photo gallery below from today’s action…
Skin track up to the San Joaquin Peak
Our skin track, the backside of Palmyra Peak, and Utah’s La Sal Mountains in the distance
Final stretch to the summit…
Brian dropping into the couloir
And making his way into the first choke
Yours truly skiing through the first choke
Striker taking a breather in the “safe zone”
Brian eying Tommy approach the second choke and apron
Lower apron pow turns
The San Joaquin has unofficially been “checked off”
Striker ripping some pow turns down the apron
The San Joaquin nicely tagged up!
Photos by Jared Vincent & Brian Horton