Independence Pass, one of Colorado’s highest paved roads, opened on May 25 of this year. Per tradition, several hundred backcountry skiers enjoyed the vast terrain of the pass over Memorial Day weekend.
The parking lot was crowded, but with more than 200 square miles of prime backcountry available you could still find plenty of solitude, vast terrain, and loads of fun.
This year’s thin snowpack is going fast. Should be a bit of high altitude glisse for the first week or two of June, then that’ll be it (unless we get a cold storm with high altitude snow, which does happen…).
Our family tradition is to hold our Memorial Day barbecue atop the pass, weather permitting.
This year’s BBQ was a blast.
I did a nice tour and ski descent with my wife Lisa and 10-year-old son Louie, then yanked the barbie out of the cavernous Suburban, threw on the dogs and brats, and enjoyed some fellowship with like minded folk.
The snow on the descents was in good shape, but definitely below average in thickness. Get it while you can.
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.