Colorado — Bodacious Snowpack 200%

Post by blogger | June 14, 2016      

A couple days ago, my friend Al and I got up on some of Colorado’s high terrain. Water stats folks are reporting snowpack is around 200 percent of normal in places. For the middle of June, sure looks like it. We did a bit of bit of dirt hiking — just a bit. Some of the snow is suncupped, but quite a bit of very nice skiable surface is still to be had. Key now is to pick routes with higher trailheads unless you’re comfortable with significant distance in your running shoes. North facing terrain could also have smoother snow, depending on how much has been peeling off when it gets warm. Easy to suss out.

Independence Pass, Colorado, June 12 2016.

Independence Pass, Colorado, June 12, 2016.

Quite fun skiing on into mid June. I’m even doing some gear testing. What gets me is we defer a lot of our home upkeep and improvement until summer. I get antsy to complete those projects, then skiing runs long and tension develops. Yet it’s a good tension to have. Either way, something gets done. I just hope to get some home improvement done in November!


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9 Responses to “Colorado — Bodacious Snowpack 200%”

  1. Jim P. June 14th, 2016 11:07 am

    Still not bad in Idaho this year too, though we had lots of melting last week.

  2. Scott June 14th, 2016 11:23 am

    Hi Lou –
    I checked the Snotel site this weekend and the temperature has only been going down to 36 degrees at night. 10 degrees warmer than over Memorial day. Do you get worried about the base layer not freezing enough?

  3. Lou Dawson 2 June 14th, 2016 11:36 am

    Hi Scott, only on the steeps… of interest, due to the types of conditions you mention the Grizzly Chute slid big with a 6 foot fracture, which it does during many years. Radiation cooling usually freezes the surface on a clear night above timberline. Lou

  4. biggb June 14th, 2016 11:42 am

    Lou … if you had just a few recommendations for tourists (like me from Idaho) who might want to get the biggest bang for the buck / quality / fun … what objectives would you ski in the coming weeks?

  5. Lou Dawson 2 June 14th, 2016 12:40 pm

    Probably Mount Adams and lower reaches of Rainier. Though PNW is tricky for vacations due to weather. If you’re talking Colorado, you need altitude. Consider any 14ers with high access, Evans and Pikes have roads, Montezuma Basin out of Aspen has moderate 4×4 road that gets you up high. Lou

  6. biggb June 14th, 2016 5:01 pm

    Thanks for that Lou … I didn’t specify that I was looking for CO action. Did Adams last weekend (SW Chutes) and have ticked off a few classic Idaho peaks this summer. Have never skied in CO and it seems like a good time to do it!

  7. Scott June 15th, 2016 11:33 am

    Thanks for the input Lou. I actually was thinking of Grizzly as soon as the road opened, I guess that will have to be next year!!!

  8. Mark W June 16th, 2016 8:50 am

    Way to get after it! Wishing I could too. Biggb, what peaks in Idaho did you get?

  9. Lou Dawson 2 June 16th, 2016 9:28 am

    Scott, yeah, it’s been warm and east northeast stuff like Griz is gnarled. True north or northwest faces above timberline still have some good stuff and probably will for a long time, though you’ll eventually end up doing “patch” skiing. Lou

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