Big thanks to Backcountry Access for sponsoring this avalanche education content. Check out the additional plethora of avalanche safety resources on their website.
It’s always fascinated me the way every region of North America has its pros and cons for backcountry skiing. Pacific Northwest and Canadian coastal regions yield late season snow and big mountains — but sometimes wet weather gets in the way. Northeast U.S. is classy, but sometimes a bit light on snow (not today?). Mid continent regions can have tricky avalanche conditions for most of the winter…
Colorado just went through one of those tricky periods for backcountry skiing. Some hang-fire may still be out there, but you can find the goods if you do a little shopping. Report from Sean Crossen, who’s seeking to do ski descents of all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks:
“Pete Sowar and I arrived in Ashcroft Jan 20th at around 8 am. We
then snowmobiled up to the Y in the road around 11,000 ft. We then skinned up Montezuma Basin to the North Couloir. From here the fun began and we boot hiked with our crampons on to the summit. The weather was perfect; sunny and calm. We reached the summit at 1:45, then enjoyed the summit and its many views before we skied off the exact summit, down the top of the east face, then the North Couloir. The snow was solid with grippy powder on top. We made it back to Ashcroft around 2:45 P.M. — what great ski!! Now on to my last seven peaks in what ever order they will hopefully come! Have a great day, Sean”
For more skiing information in the Castle Creek region of Colorado Elk Mountains, see BackcountrySkiingCO.com