Early morning light on an impressive unnamed point near highway 82.
Camp at the Willis Gulch trailhead on Friday morning. It was about 12 degrees overnight.
Bill and I both set our alarms for 5:10am but both slept through them. We finally awoke little after 6:00am!
After some major bushwacking trying to find the trail initially, we finally found it.
We cruised the flats towards Twin Lakes for a while before finding the major trail up into Willis Gulch. From there, it was tons o' trailbreaking!
Looking back at Dan down low on the trail around 9500'.
At the intersection with the Interlaken trail, we found the trail had been broken by a snowshoer. A nice break from trailbreaking!
More trail breaking! It was exhaustive.
Ah, a real nice break in an open area at about 11,200'
Our first view of our objective for the day.
At around 11,200' we left the main trail and broke trail up to the Northeast Ridge of Mount Hope to avoid avalanche danger in the upper basin.
The trailbreaking on the ridge was awful because down low as we ascended the ridge we encountered some really wet snow. That got our skins wet and the colder snow on the ridge stuck to the skins like glue.
At treeline with a view up the remaining ridge. This is around 1:15pm.
A bolt on one of Bill's bindings sheared so he was forced to thread the hole to keep the strap on.
Looking at Hope Pass, 12,500'. Bill and I each had been over this pass during our running of the Leadville 100 and had looked at Mount Hope then.
On the upper ridge we found intermittent snow between rocky sections. The snow was nice and stiff for step-kicking.
Bill on the upper ridge with Twin Lakes in the background.
The view was awesome. This is looking over Hope Pass at 14ers Oxford and Belford with the summit of Mount Harvard just barely visible between the two.
Bill charged the upper section and laid some nice steps for Dan and I.
Dan professed he was feeling pooped but kept on going like the mad trooper he is.
Dan and Bill on the summit of Mount Hope around 3pm with Mount Elbert in the background. It took us 7.5 hours to summit.
Bill and Dan on the descent.
Back at the splitboard and skis at treeline at 3:45pm.
For the descent we kept our skins on our skis and just skied our track back. This was very efficient.
Bill on the descent. Bill and I are snowboarders so skiing down was a bit foreign to us.
Skiing down our tracks. When it got too fast we'd just turn a ski off into the snow on the side to slow down.
Bill back at the vehicle at 6:30pm. 3.5 hours to descend from the summit. An 11 hour day total but it felt bigger.