Colorado Backcountry Skiing Conditions Report – Independence Pass

Post by blogger | June 23, 2008      

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.”

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
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.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Looking south. From a distance the snow surface appears better than it really is, though a few smooth areas exist.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
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.


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4 Responses to “Colorado Backcountry Skiing Conditions Report – Independence Pass”

  1. Carver June 23rd, 2008 2:36 pm

    Looks like you enjoyed the first day of the 2008-2009 ski season! The sun’s finally headed back to winter.

    We skied too – Mt. Jasper in the 4th of July area of the Front Range. We managed to ski all the way from the summit to Boulder Creek. Even the trees were good!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Scott B June 23rd, 2008 2:47 pm

    There must be lots of die hards out there. I saw ~20 people on Grizzly Peak on Sunday.

    The goods were still there, but melting rapidly. Who knows how long this will last?

  3. Lou June 23rd, 2008 3:00 pm

    Wow, this sport has finally gotten the popularity it’s always deserved! Twenty on Griz, that’s amazing! That many people will smooth off the suncups, like a human grooming machine.

  4. jackson June 25th, 2008 12:34 am

    hey guys hows it going i dont know if u rememba me but i stayed with u a few years bak and skiied hothem with phill just thought id chek out ur website after i saw it at the rockclimbing gym
    ok c ya

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