Ski Touring Party on the Pass 2018

Post by blogger | May 29, 2018      
About 60 people showed up this year, coming and going. Panorama by Dick Jackson, click to enlarge.

About 60 people showed up this year, coming and going. Yeah, our snow this year is a bit sparse, yet be assured, skiing was had. Panorama by Dick Jackson, click to enlarge.

We’ve been doing this for about thirty years now (an early one), getting together with friends for a skier’s tailgate gathering on Independence Pass, Colorado. Usually on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Over the years, the informal event has become a wonderful celebration of ski touring’s variety. All ages, nice mix of guys and gals, all types of gear, even a few veggie burgers find their way to the grill. Our sport has indeed evolved. Sure, a few more people out there (more skiers on the Pass this spring than I’ve ever seen), but fun is had by all. Dick Jackson, founder of Aspen Expeditions guide service, snapped the pics herein. Thanks everyone for showing up, see you next year!

Tailgating always a hit.

Tailgating always a hit.

Busted, Jackson and I show up at Party on the Pass to meet girls.

Busted, Jackson and I show up at Party on the Pass to meet girls.

Exchanging avalanche safety tips, or discussing world peace? Commenters please let us know.

Exchanging avalanche safety tips, or discussing world peace? Commenters please let us know.

The photographer himself.

The official event photographer himself.

And yours truly on the grill.

And yours truly on the grill.


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10 Responses to “Ski Touring Party on the Pass 2018”

  1. Scott S Allen May 29th, 2018 12:50 pm

    How are conditions on the pass?
    Any recommendations for what is currently in?

  2. Lou Dawson 2 May 29th, 2018 5:41 pm

    Hi Scott, the highest altitude northerly stuff is the smoothest, people are skiing Grizzly Chute and reporting it fairly smooth. Lots of hiking, but not all that different than perhaps a week or two later during a normal year. More suncups than normal, and more areas that are discontinuous probably due to early season snow getting stripped by the wind then never getting renewed. Lou

  3. Nick Gassaway May 30th, 2018 1:49 am

    Hi Lou,

    Using this Memorial Day weekend event to gauge AT growth — if there were a ‘couple hundred’ in attendance in 2001, what was the count last weekend?



  4. Lou Dawson 2 May 30th, 2018 8:18 am

    Hi Nick, each year seems to vary quite a bit in terms of the BBQ, depends on weather, type of season, not to mention how much effort we put into counting numbers, etc. I can tell you that those first few mornings on the Pass summit I saw more skiers and their cars than ever. Ski touring growth was in double digits for a while with an obvious doubling time of around 7 years, based on my observations of trailhead parking, I think it’s somewhere in the middle single digits now, still significant as the growth is compound. BTW, Use of ski touring bindings at resorts is still increasing by double digits, but has no direct relationship to increase in ski touring.

  5. UpSki Kevin June 3rd, 2018 7:59 am

    looks barren… but I bet you guys had a really good time anyway. Sorry I couldn’t make it!

  6. Reukk June 4th, 2019 6:55 am

    Hey Lou. You guys have a date set for the 2019 BBQ yet? Or have you been too busy skiing up there to even think about it?

  7. Lou Dawson 2 June 4th, 2019 9:54 am

    Hi Reukk, we usually do it the first Saturday or Sunday the Pass is open, so we did it last weekend, Saturday. About 70 people showed up. There is a trend to let it be more organic, with less hype, sorry that caused you to not know about it. Next year, once folks agree on the day, I’ll tweet it out. We did put it on Facebook, and I emailed a list of folks. I’ll be up there every few days, if you see me say hi. I’ll be either in our big black Silverado, or our white Nissan Versa, or perhaps with a friend in a different car. ‘best, Lou

  8. Sky June 4th, 2019 2:24 pm

    How’s the coverage? Bet it was great unless something catastrophic happened in the last week. Hmmm, might have to make a drive next weekend….

  9. Lou Dawson 2 June 6th, 2019 9:08 am

    Sky, it’s amazing up there, an unusual “smoothed over” beauty that’s rare in Colorado. Skied it yesterday, I’ll be going every few days so long as it lasts. Lou

  10. Jim Milstein June 13th, 2019 9:33 pm

    Not so good on Wolf Creek Pass. Plenty of snow, but it is runneled and suncupped, plus dirt and/or tree debris on top. Given the unusually good season, complaining about the early and late parts is ungrateful.

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