mount arkansas - 13795' - east face class 2+
I climbed Mount Arkansas with Scott on a nice April morning before class. It was a nice warm morning and the snow was really consolidating well so we had a firm ground on the hike in. We walked up the same mining road I had ridden up with Josh and his dad three years earlier but this time it was covered with snow. Once we got to the base of the east face at a small tarn, we looked at the NE couloir and determined its conditions. We really wanted to climb this route since others had recently done it but it was already in the sun and I wanted to avoid getting into wet slide terrain so we decided to climb the snow slopes just north of the couloir where we would reach the north ridge slightly further from the summit. These slopes were at most about 40 degrees and the snow was in great condition. We quickly reached the north ridge and began scrambling on class 2 and 3 rock to the notch in the ridge. The drop into this notch was the crux of our day and consisted of a difficult class 3 drop. Once past this it was a short ways to the summit where we had beautiful views of all the surrounding peaks and was even able to follow cars down the highway to Leadville. It was only 9 in the morning and we sat on the warm and calm summit for an hour waiting for the snow in the bowl just to the south to warm up and soften a little so we could glissade the entire way down. So we descended south on the ridge towards Mount Tweto a short distance then hopped on the large snowfield and glissaded about 800 feet down which was certainly a blast! We were able to continue back to the small tarn where we met up with our approach and hike back to the car. I easily made it back to class by 1pm as the drove was only an hour away.