Start/End Loc: McCullough Gulch TH
Left Golden at 4:20 AM after picking up Keegan Young. No problems driving to the TH where there is a closed gate. Followed the trail to the lake, up the couloir, maybe an additional 1/4 mile to actual summit after exiting the couloir. The constriction in the lower part of the couloir kicks up to ~45 degrees, we took a right exit at the top to stay on some snow where, again, it kicks up to ~45 degrees. Otherwise, the whole thing stays ~35 degrees.
The photo shows a lot of melting out for this time of year (unusual) but it was actually more fun than it looks and much longer than it looks too. Driving the dirt road in, I had spotted a good way back down: basically above tree line there is an obvious grass and scree slope down. We stayed on the E Ridge trail until it became obvious to start trending NE, then spotted the obvious way down in a gully (right before the obvious slope down seen from the road - to save some descent time). Actually popped out maybe 100 feet up the trail from the truck - nice.
Tried to stay in some snow low down on the return to glissade BUT it was very deep, all sugar snow under the top, and at only 30 degrees or so it was very dangerous - it was sloughing immediately around me. I stayed high where I entered it and traversed out of it - scary stuff and surprisingly so.
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