Normally, this time of year in Colorado you’ll find nearly all your good late May skiing near and above timberline. This year is different. Though it’s going fast, in places this past week you could work your way down to about 9,000 feet elevation almost totally on snow. And what snow it is, dense like the PNW or Sierra, a bit dirty but not brown with dust as after some winters. The other day I’d been in the West Elk Mountains and noticed one of our favorite lower elevation runs, amazingly, still went to the parking area. Did it one-last-time a couple days ago. A few photos so we can look back years from now and enjoy how the “Big Winter of 2017” panned out.
This weekend, here in Colorado our beloved Independence Pass is now open. Gets you several above-timberline trailheads. Park and skin. Folks say they’re getting together tomorrow (Saturday, 27th) for an informal BBQ gathering at the upper hairpin turn on Aspen side of the pass. Those gatherings have been fun, check out years past.
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.