February 20, 2011

Tikishla Reconnaissance

Knoya and Tikishla are so close to home, but yet so far away having been on "the list" for a long time. Teletips posts by like-minded backcountry skiers were all the inspiration needed for some Tikishla recon.  Five and a half hour round trip to the base of Tikisha were required today with slow solo trailbreaking for about half of the outbound portion. 

Snowpack is typical front range: powder to sastrugi to breakable crust with brush, tundra and rocks.  It stormed today with more wind than snow up high.  Winds were absolutely howling in the alpine country at the base of Tikishla.
Start of Descent to Campbell Ck North Fork
Touring skis (Fischer Outtabounds Waxbase) worked great with the long approach distance to Tikishla.  Walking the steep, narrow descent to the North Fork is recommended.
Campbell Ck North Fork Bridge
Knoya Bench
Wind Scoured Lower Tikishla SW Aspect
Looking Up Basin WNWof Tikishla Summit
The wind (and a lazy start) assisted with the turnaround decision, and the recon provided confidence that Tikishla is a reasonable day trip.  Depending on the trailbreaking, 6 to 8 hours would be my planning time.  Decision on gear would depend on conditions.  Alpine touring skis/boots would fit the alpine country best, but the rugged touring set up is adequate and is superior on the approach and retreat.

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