Independence Pass Skiing Report – Colorado

Post by blogger | June 10, 2011      

Still good for backcountry skiing. Stay up high. Lots of suncupping at and below timberline. Some sun cups up high but once soft they’re skiable. Traverse around to find the smooth snow. This morning, west facing stuff didn’t soften till late, but your mileage will vary according to night temps and sky clarity. 4th of July Bowl is super tracked up, so you might have to actually hike for your turns instead of working on your contribution to global warming. Snirt is amazingly thin, okay in most places.

Backcountry skiing in Colorado, June 2011.

Blue Peak, East Couloirs, today June 10, 2011. Mount Champion on skyline. I'd say that was me in the photo and tag it as myself in Facebook, but it's actually Scott Nelson so I'll hold off from the self promotion for now. Click image to enlarge.


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14 Responses to “Independence Pass Skiing Report – Colorado”

  1. Jim Breasted June 10th, 2011 3:45 pm

    On Wednesday morning, June 8, a little after 7:00 AM I left Carbondale, where the air temperature was 32F, bound for Independence Pass. I thought my late start would be OK with the temperature being so low. My goal was to ski the Lost Man Loop on my skate skis. Because I was skiing the loop alone as a precaution I had emailed several people to call Mountain Rescue if I had not reported in by 3:00 PM. In the past I have skied the loop in about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. It took me 6 hours. I made a lot of mistakes and should have turned back once I had found lousy snow on the other side of the saddle. It was 3:30 before I could reach one of my friends who emailed the others that I was safely down. The lesson being: you’re never too old to make mistakes in the mountains! I’m 73. No excuses.

  2. Lou June 10th, 2011 3:50 pm

    Jim, you’re also not too old for some real backcountry skiing equipment (grin). Save those stick for Owl Creek. Lou

  3. Ryan June 11th, 2011 6:40 pm

    Lou, a few of us are thinking about skiing Grizzly Peak tomorrow. We can use sleds if it’s easier. Any beta on Lincoln Creek? Is it covered with snow for the sleds? We were considering doing a shuttle from the top of the Pass and traversing out. Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Lou June 11th, 2011 9:46 pm

    Ryan, it’s summer! Lincoln road is plowed, guys used motos yesterday for a Griz ski, report is that snow surface was not that great. We usually get a few skiffs of new snow during this period to smooth out the sun cupping and stuff, have not had that. Lots of snow still, but surface is starting to be less than nice in many places. Also got a report from North Maroon yesterday. Same thing, funky “dinner plate” inconsistent surface that made it tough to make confident steep turns.

    Not intending to discourage, but it’s getting tricky to find the good snow surfaces.

  5. brian h June 12th, 2011 10:31 am

    So how long might it last? Have you guys skied there in July before? Like 4th of July on Independence pass? That would be cool…

  6. Mark W June 12th, 2011 10:02 pm

    Was up in Keystone for a couple days and the snow in Summit County looks fine. Hoping to head up to RMNP for some nice June turns. By the way, it’s not really summer until the solstice, but you know that.

  7. gonzoskijohnny June 13th, 2011 11:54 am

    “Lincoln road is plowed, guys used motos yesterday for a Griz ski”…
    Lou- WTF??? Lincoln gate was closed this weekend, so we went elsewhere- or is it OK to drive around the gate if you can fit 😯 ???
    In Sierras this May anything plowed is opened, in Colo FS keeps it closed- typical FS inconsistency. 👿 …
    We did find great conditions on all but a few spots at Indy this weekend-
    great snow on blarney NE-blue S-blarney S tour saturday (incl the shot in the photo you have from friday), and a heartattack-snowfence E- mtn boy peak E-mtn boy hill N tour- just gotta look for it and time it right :mrgreen: !
    lots of cornices are failing, big slabs puling after it gets too warm and wet, a bit of rough “textured” when too froze- but nothing atypical of our great spring skiing.

  8. Lou June 13th, 2011 12:21 pm

    I should have wrote that it’s “plowed and GATED.” That is so typical I left it unsaid… someone was back up there skiing this morning…

    It is SO bogus they gate it. Really no good excuse. That road gets just as wet during the summer monsoonal rains we get most years, and they don’t gate it then…

  9. Michael June 20th, 2011 11:52 am

    Anyone know how the snow is on indy pass today? I know it’s snowing now, but is it still skiable?

  10. Kevin June 22nd, 2011 8:07 pm

    any new updates on conditions on Indy Pass?? is it worth trying to still get out??

  11. Michael June 23rd, 2011 9:15 am

    Went out tuesday. Snow was soft but worth every turn. Lots of it there but need to ski very early.

  12. Michael August 10th, 2011 5:23 pm

    Are there any lines available for the month of August

  13. Lou August 10th, 2011 5:53 pm

    Nothing quality, due to snow surface and dust, but it can snow a bit towards the end of the month and renew things up around 13,000, so watch for that. If you need turns for TAY, you can get some here and there.

  14. Rob August 10th, 2011 10:40 pm

    Sounds as though there is still some OK snow in the Gores, IPW, Never Summers and RMNP.

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