UPDATED! 2015 BBQ on Independence Pass, Colorado

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | June 14, 2015      
2015 BBQ on Independence Pass

2015 BBQ on Independence Pass, June 14 . Click to enlarge. That’s me in the green Dynafit “Global Cooling Jacket,” hoping it does its job and keeps the skiing alive into July.

Amazingly, it’s June 14 and we still pulled it off! Rain soaked snow kept the skiing from being 10/10, but the brats were good and the tradition was kept alive! This was something like our 20th BBQ on the pass, every year without fail. People, I was stressing because I thought we’d missed it, but it happened! Thanks all for showing up, always a fun crew as these are very informal happenings. Youngest participant Ann P., 6 years old. Most seasoned participant, Jim Milstein. Let’s just say he even has His Blogness beat in the seasoning department. Quote of the day: “Ok, it snowed all spring, no dust, was I leaving for Maui any time soon to ‘recover’ from winter? When Colorado spring skiing might be some of the best in the country this year, if not the world? NO WAY!”

June 14, 2015, Geissler cirque, Independence Pass, Colorado.

June 14, 2015, Geissler cirque, Independence Pass, Colorado. Yeah, a few went home early. But those of us who persevered through extreme crustal diversity won the prize of self actualized challenge. Which translates to a fairly well cooked bratwurst at the trailhead.

His Blogness serving it up.

His Blogness serves it up.


Skiing bbq on Independence Pass

Skiing bbq on Independence Pass

Hi all, Lisa and I are on a long trip to Europe, now in Austria. We were trying to do some spring skiing in the Alps after Norway, but got shut out from our goals by rainy wet weather. Instead we’ve done a bit of skiing and a bunch of “Sound of Music” hiking in the Austrian mountains, along with industry visits and meetings that’ll help inform later blogging this summer.

In any case, we won’t be back for a few more days and (kicking myself) we are missing prime time for the Independence Pass gathering we usually try and informally organize through WildSnow.com blog posts.

I emailed a few folks who have been skiing Indy and it seems this coming Saturday, May 30, would be a good day for the annual Independence Pass informal gathering? You guys ski touring in Colorado know better than I do, but take this as a reminder that Saturday could be the day. Use this space to leave some comments (e.g., “I’m IN”), or head over to Facebook for a thread where you can leave comments.

USUAL LOCATION of the gathering is the “Upper Hairpin” parking area on the Pass road (HWY 82), near timberline before you begin the last big roadcut up to the pass summit. Obvious spot, as it’s the only large parking area before you reach the pass summit.

USUAL TIME: In the past we’ve tried to have things going around 10:00 am with everyone eating lunch from 11:00 through noon, then packing up early afternoon before any late day weather hits. Sounds like it’ll be partly sunny on Saturday, with a cold morning for some skiing, so that’s about as good as could be expected.

Bring your own goods, and perhaps a little extra for starving skiers who’ve not left the pass for the last few weeks due to this being the best Colorado spring ski touring season in decades!

The idea of the Pass party has always been to keep it casual and informal; even a few folks showing up and hanging out is all it takes.

Regrets we won’t be there this coming Saturday. We’ll be returning soon.



Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


14 Responses to “UPDATED! 2015 BBQ on Independence Pass, Colorado”

  1. Mike Marolt May 29th, 2015 11:26 am

    I can wait for you guys to get back. I am betting 4th of July Bowl will have snow for it’s namesake.

  2. Scott Nelson May 29th, 2015 6:08 pm

    Agree, it wouldn’t be the same without you and Lisa. It’ll be good skiing next weekend. Besides, I want to go back up Sopris tomorrow, it looks that good!

  3. pioletski May 29th, 2015 7:56 pm

    Lou, are you really inviting us to a party you won’t attend? Mike is right, there is a buttload of snow here and it should last a while. Let us know when you’re back.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 May 29th, 2015 10:30 pm

    Piolet and all, sure, some folks were asking me about the party and what else could I do but suggest something? Just trying to help.

    Also, I realized that this has become somewhat of a tradition and a lot of friends didn’t realize we were still absent from the equation… Lisa and I will both be back in Roaring Fork by the weekend of June 6, so we’ll see if that happens as well. We’ll be jet lagged but perhaps that’s a good high along with the altitude (grin)?

    Really, I’m just trying to be sure folks knew what was going on, as well as suggesting something.


  5. Matt Kinney May 31st, 2015 5:43 am

    We also ended up doing a bit of skiing and lots of lava field hikes, hot spring dips and swimming birding, etc due to very windy, chilly and sleety Iceland the past two weeks. I had hoped for more skiing but got goods in West Fjords and Arkuryk. Returning to the heat wave in Alaska it seems

  6. Lou Dawson 2 May 31st, 2015 10:46 am

    Nice Matt, good to hear you were up in the northern hinterlands as well!

  7. George T June 3rd, 2015 6:36 pm

    Saturday was exceptional for touring on Indy Pass. Tristan, Dana and I climbed Blue Pk and had a super family experience. Scotty Nichols, Pete Anzalone and the regulars were on-site, but without your organizational skills the BBQ and beer party did not develop. Perhaps we can make it happen June 13th if snow conditions hold up.

  8. Lou Dawson 2 June 3rd, 2015 9:10 pm

    Hi George, we’re thinking of indeed trying for another picnic on the Pass! Probably for sure, as I was pretty bummed that our streak of twenty something years of doing it was going to be broken. So let’s stay in touch. Lou

  9. Roger June 4th, 2015 11:12 am

    has anyone been on the pass over the last day or 2? Any reports on conditions?
    I’m hoping t o get up there on Saturday morning.

  10. Lou Dawson 2 June 4th, 2015 1:15 pm

    I’ve heard a couple of reports, this morning it stayed solid and was good, day before the night was a bit too warm. The usual Colorado spring snowpack situation in terms of it not being as solid and dense as one might be used to in other parts of the world, and thus more sensitive to heating in the morning. Looked at it from my flight yesterday (heading back from Europe) and the coverage is all time, though all above timberline now. Lou

  11. Bob Perlmutter June 5th, 2015 11:29 pm

    I was up this morning. There was a good, solid freeze and high winds and cloud cover kept it firm for the first lap until the sun poked through. Occasional sun was enough to soften the surface and provide good corn skiing until the clouds moved back in and everything firmed up again. All in all, there is still quality skiing to be had.

  12. Mike Kelly June 6th, 2015 7:10 pm

    Breakable crust in Mountain Boy this morning, but nice to
    be there anyway.

  13. Lou Dawson 2 June 8th, 2015 3:49 pm

    Perfect corn this morning above 11,500 feet at Indy.


  14. Lou Dawson 2 June 10th, 2015 7:35 pm


    Weather permitting but it looks to be ok.

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