#5 – Coalpit Headwall
The Coalpit Headwall has a lot going for it – it is north facing (softest of the soft), huge, has a fairly moderate angle, has tons of variety and more often than not, some portion of it will have good skiing.
There are many ways to approach it, all involving pain & suffering. Since there is a booter up the Y-Couloir, we went up that, then traversed into the headwall cirque, skinned for a ways, then hit the ridgeline where we booted to the summit. This is the most direct way to get there, although it has a low start (which means more vert climbed) and you end up losing about 500′ on the ridge traverse, but for today it was the way to got.
I don’t usually tour with a group of six, but today it was great as the traveling conditions were perfect and we had lots of horsepower, including Fred Marmsater from Boulder Colorado, Bart Gillespie, Jared Inouye, Rick Angell and Courtney Phillips. The Y Couloir had a well established booter in it which lead to a nice high traverse into the Coalpit cirque which I’d never done before (nice job whoever put that line in) and then another booter up the ridge. All and all, not too bad an approach for a 5,000′ line.
Coalpit starts out with a steep headwall which soon turns into a more moderate bowl. After this, it rolls through a nice tree section, which eventually turns into a wild gully that terminates with a waterfall that must be skirted, then back to a gully, then a section of dues-paying bushwhacking at the bottom before you hit a hiking trail which leads to a bridge and finally, a nice parking lot right by the side of the road.
Tomorrow: The ol’ high lonely.
Category: current conditions