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Trip Details

Date Saturday  5/18/2019
End Date
Group Denver
Event Title Ski Keplinger's Couloir, Long's Peak
Start Time 4:00 AM
Status Canceled
Leader John Martersteck
Member Price Free
Available Participants Full- Join Waitlist
Type Trip
Trip Type
Pace Moderate
Classification Difficult D
Trail Mileage 16
Elevation Gain 5900
Driving Distance


Copeland Lake Trailhead, Wild Basin, RMNP

For more info Contact

Trip Leaders/ACS Instructors: 

John Martersteck - - 720-951-5376


Climb Long's Peak in solitude, and ski the descent!  This is an historic climb, as Keplinger's Couloir is the route John Wesley Powell took in making the first known ascent of Longs Peak in 1868.

This is a challenging, scenic snow climb and ski descent of Keplinger's Couloir.  You must be an expert backcountry skier with ski mountaineering experience.  You must also be an ACS grad with experience climbing steep snow, as we may attempt to summit Long's Peak from the top of the couloir, depending on snow conditions, time of day, weather conditions, and group ability.

We will likely camp the night before above an unnamed lake at 11,300'

We will be conservative with avalanche risk assessment, but carrying avalanche gear is required.

Trip Preparation and Risk Mitigation

1.  Keep an eye on the weather forecast the week before the climb ( 

2. Keep an eye on the CAIC avalanche danger forecast (  Determine what avalanche concerns we are likely to face.

3. Decide what the three highest risks are that the team will face, and how to mitigate those risks (yes, there will be a quiz!).

Gear - All participants should come prepared with their Ten Essentials, adequate amounts of water and snacks, and appropriate outerwear to protect themselves from the possible effects of cold, wind and precipitation. 

Individual required gear (in addition to 10 essentials):

- Skis, skins, poles

- Avalanche gear (beacon, probe, shovel)

- Crampons (fitted to your ski boots)

- Helmet, Ice axe

- Harness

- Face protection:  balaclava or buff

- Eye protection:  glacier glasses, goggles

- Extra gloves, extra warm layers, etc.

- Blister prevention and care

Weather- Do not assume that bad weather means the trip will be canceled (I believe there is only one way to find out what the actual weather conditions are on the mountain).  I will generally only cancel a trip if the roads will be unsafe for traveling to and from the trailhead, or if avalanche conditions are too risky, of if thunderstorms begin to threaten the immediate area.  Otherwise, we will wear and carry the appropriate gear for the anticipated and potential weather conditions.


Medical Conditions - Please let me know before the day of the hike if you have a medical condition that might impact you on the trip (e.g., allergies, asthma, cardiac or respiratory issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.).  If you have such a condition, remember to bring the necessary medication and medical equipment (e.g., EpiPen, asthma inhaler, heart medications, blood glucose meter, etc.), and inform me of its location in your pack.  Also, if you are taking a prescription blood thinner, bring ClotStop or a similar product, and notify me of its location in your pack.

Updates - Please check your email the day before the climb for any updated trip information.

Trip logistics - By signing up for this trip, participants agree to allow the trip leader to share contact information with other participants. They also agree that responsibility for group safety is shared by all participants. 

If you need to cancel your reservation for this trip, it is your responsibility to do that online.  Here's how:  Log in to > Members > My Membership > My Trips > find this trip (your upcoming trips will be listed in date order) > click "Cancel Reservation."  If you need to cancel within three days of the scheduled meeting time, please do so online and call or text me at 720.951.5376 (no emails, please).  Remember to include your first and last name in any text messages you send.

Please keep in mind that it is customary for the driver and passengers in a vehicle driven to a CMC event to share the mileage cost for the trip at a rate of $0.30 per mile.  For example, if there are three passengers in a car driven 120 miles round-trip to a CMC hike, each passenger would pay the driver 1/4 of ($0.30 x 120), or $9.00.  Drivers should keep track of their mileage for the trip, and passengers should bring cash in various denominations to pay their share of the mileage cost. 

Alternatively, individual drivers may choose to recover the actual cost of their fuel expenses, which should be shared, as appropriate.

Note:  This trip was canceled due to spring storm and increased avalanche risk.