Jackal to Fowler/Hilliard Attempt 2/2016

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Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:05 pm

Jackal to Fowler/Hilliard Attempt 2/2016

Post by atorrisi »

Made an attempt with two others to ski from the Jackal Hut to the Fowler/Hilliard Hut on Feb 1st. There was lots of new snow and it was snowing when we departed the hut at 8:00AM. We knew it would be tough going however we also knew that there was an escape route back to the trailhead via Resolution Road should we need it. No one had skied the route recently so we were breaking trail the whole way. Even on the steepest part of the descent to the Pearl Creek drainage the snow was so deep we had to pole our way down. There were times where I would sink waste deep or more in the snow even with my fatties on. Each of us at least once had to jettison our packs and skis and crawl out of deep snow pits into which we fell. It took 5 hours (!!!) to reach Resolution Road! That's only 4 miles with over 2000' of elevation LOSS. It was now 1:00PM and knowing the trail up to the Fowler/Hilliard hut would not be broken we chose to bail back to the trailhead (BTW, the parking lot was unplowed, the truck was snowed in, and just for extra credit, the battery was dead). We eventually made it back to Leadville for the night and then skied up McAllister Road from the Pando Trailhead to the F/H Hut the following day. The first part of the trail was again unbroken and it took a while to find a snow bridge across the creek but other than that the rest of the trip was uneventful (but cold). Two folks we met from Steamboat departed the F/H Hut on Feb 3rd to ski the route in the opposite direction. They were happy to know the trail was now broken from Resolution Road to the Jackal Hut but still had the descent from F/H to Resolution Road (which was unbroken trail) with which to contend. Hopefully they made it okay. So if you want to do the Jackal to F/H hut-to-hut traverse, the trail is broken! Do it now before it snows again!!
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Jackal to Fowler/Hilliard Attempt

Post by HollyWeik »

We did this route in reverse on Feb 3d. The descent from Fowler was uneventful. Thanks to some excellent trailbreaking by Al's group, and an additional 48 hours of good weather, the ascent up to Jackal via Pearl was quite enjoyable as was the descent back to Pando on the 4th.
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