This week the heat came down on us here in Carbondale. Shoot, I even broke out a pair of shorts. I was wondering what that did to the snowpack (the heat, not the shorts) so Lisa and I headed up Sunday (yesterday) to find out. I expected the suncups, some of which are now the size of paint cans, but didn’t expect the coverage to still be more like late May.
You guys up in the PNW might yawn since you’ve got plenty of summer snow during most years, but we usually get pretty dry here in Colorado around this time. Not this season. Frankly, I don’t know what’s causing the situation. I guess a combination of factors such as a cold stormy spring along with above average snowpack. Whatever the case, after a week off the skis to cure physical burnout and get some overdue yardwork done, I’m figuring to keep on going till you can stick a fork in it. Then do a few days up at our summer snowfields just to get the “turns all year.”
|Looking southwest from Blarney Peak. That’s amazing coverage for this area on June 22. Quite a few people were up there skiing. Die hards.|
|Looking south. From a distance the snow surface appears better than it really is, though a few smooth areas exist.|
|Lisa topping Blarney where you can look south to the Elks and Sawatch. If you want to dirt hike the approaches just about any summit is still available as a ski descent. I’m kinda over the dirt hiking for skiing at the moment (having done a bunch for the last 8 months), but perhaps I’ll rally. Meanwhile, I heard about these new sports called bicycle riding and rock climbing. They sound really interesting. So does my Jeep.|
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.