Lynn Durr is a peak off the Castle Creek Road out of Aspen. Once they plow the last mile or two of road, as they do every spring around this time, you can backcountry ski a quality 3,000 vertical feet from your tailgate. Our friend Bob Perlmutter got it more than once over the past week, so I figured we’d better get up there and see what was going on. Besides, nice place for son Louie’s first post-high-school backcountry skiing. The trailhead is your typical 10,000 foot elevation zone and melting out fast, but the skiing is still of good quality and the line aesthetic. It’s east facing, so be there early or you’ll have sun glopped snow to deal with.
|Near the summit, Pearl Pass Oberland vaults to the south. That’s east and west Pearl Mountain on center horizon, with Greg Mace peak in left midground. All that is easily accessible for a day trip of backcountry skiing from your parking spot. Click image to enlarge
|Lynn Durr is named after a woman who was killed in an avalanche here on March 8, 1991. Durr was a somewhat of a loner who lived in a house a few miles downvalley from the peak, and nearly every winter day would ski tour up the valley road passing through the avalanche runouts. One day she was on her usual tour, a massive slide came down, and that was her end. The story is sad and teaches a lesson, because the extreme hair trigger avy conditions that day were well known, and anyone who had their ear to the ground would have thought twice about going under those paths at that particular time.
|Tools for the day. We usually only carry one form of crampons or the other, but with the amount of snow this year conditions vary quite a bit by elevation and exposure, so I’ve been bringing both ski and foot spikes. Those are CAMP aluminum foot cramps and the ski spikes are B&D.
|The graduate. Congratulations!
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.