Colorado Backcountry Skiing Corn Report

Post by blogger | April 27, 2007      

Got out yesterday and the snow was not as baked down as we expected, but by today it should be getting firm with a true corn snow surface developing on all but higher northerly aspects. Warm temps this weekend will make early starts mandatory.

Backcountry skiing in Colorado.
Lisa harvesting up in Marble yesterday. Only a few good days left up there below timberline unless we get more snow. This weekend might be good unless it gets so warm we don’t get a firm overnight freeze of the snow surface. If you go, you’ll find plenty of parking up past the turnout most people use. Unless the snow is firm enough to boot a pair of ski crampons can be handy.


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5 Responses to “Colorado Backcountry Skiing Corn Report”

  1. sherryb April 27th, 2007 5:00 pm

    Spent some time on Vail Pass today. Not spring corn here either.
    Skied W through WSW lines only and even then it was over by noon! A little tricky getting down through the trees to the car at 10,600! We’ve got a strong crust (about 1″ thick) on top of transitioning snow and 3″ new on top of that this morning. Just thick enough and dense enough to make early turns on W fun. The transition to spring snowpack is at a snail’s pace; a lot of winter structure here yet. Bummer.

    I hope the snow up on Independence Pass will hold up till the road opens. The snow at my pass is too low and too warm!

  2. Dana April 27th, 2007 6:49 pm

    Thanks for the info. We are thinking about getting up SUPER early and skiing the east face of Garrett (Snowmass). What are your thoughts about east faces this late in the season?

  3. Lou April 27th, 2007 6:49 pm

    Yeah Sherry, April might be sort of the new May, but acts an awful lot like April with a non-compacted snowpack in many places. We’re skiing Uneva off Vail Pass next weekend and I hope there is some snow! If it’s totally out of condition we’ll probably try Berthoud.

    What do you think?

  4. sherryb April 27th, 2007 7:26 pm

    Uneva Bowl was the part of Vail Pass that I skied today. I felt that the coverage was excellent (for Colorado this time of year). I have not been on the backside of Uneva (north face) lately so I can only vouch for W-S-E aspects.
    Snotel data shows a snow depth is quite a bit better at Berthoud (63 in to our 42 and Indy Pass at about 43). Just depends on how far you want to drive. Also, I guess if some long term unseasonably warm conditions come along, Berthoud might be a better call as it is higher.
    The only real problem with Vail at this time is the rotten snow in the trees. That problem can be solved by parking at the westbound side CDOT sand shed about a mile west of the Vail Pass exit. Just get off I-70 at the pass and go back to it. Lots of locals park there is the spring for bc skiing. CDOT doesn’t usually give anyone a hard time if you go to the end of the entrance ramp and get off the pavement. By parking there you can get back to your vehicle by skiing open areas.
    I will probably get up there again a couple days this coming week. I can let you know if conditions take a turn for the worse.

  5. Lou April 28th, 2007 5:35 am

    Dana, east does get first sunhit so get there early so you have options. Once the east faces consolidate they can be good on into late morning or even all day when temps are cooler, but this time of year can be a bit strange as you can have a nice crust with corn, then when the sun hits it softens the crust and you break through. If you don’t get a good freeze in the trees that can be a problem as well, since you’ll be sinking on the way back. Tricky but worth the effort. Good to be careful.

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