Local Beta — Aspen Area, Pearl Basin

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | May 2, 2012      
On West Pearl Peak in Pearl Basin, May 1 2012, looking easterly at Star Peak.

On West Pearl Peak in Pearl Basin, May 1 2012, looking easterly at Star Peak.

Up there yesterday with Scott N., quick report. Easily drive to footbridge at 10,180 feet elevation on Pearl Pass jeep road. Need ground clearance, but Scott never had to pull the fun lever in his Tacoma. Patchy for a while after footbridge (park near creek crossing, before footbridge), continuous snow begins after ‘sun torch’ switchback above Mace Chalet. Good coverage above there, but thin snowpack as expected, won’t last long. Yesterday was not a thaw day, and snow up high stayed icy and hard well into noon. Recommended for the next few days, after that, will involve lots of dirt hiking. We skied West Pearl Mountain, 13,317. A few powder turns but mostly frozen semi-corn and breakable crust. Sunny day will change that quickly. It’s May.

Congratulations to the folks who caught the lines up there a few days ago when the snow was better. Nice sets of tracks everywhere. And nice snowmobile stuck-pit on the side of the cliff down there on the road (grin)!


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10 Responses to “Local Beta — Aspen Area, Pearl Basin”

  1. Frank K May 2nd, 2012 9:40 am

    Interesting to hear that yesterday wasn’t a thaw day. I got up super early, noted that the temp at Schofield pass was close to 40 thanks to cloud cover, and went back to sleep rather than skiing.

  2. Terry Mathews May 2nd, 2012 9:49 am

    Nice to see that some parts of the state still have snow. Cinnamon Pass just opened today from Lake City to Silverton in the San Juans. I hear CDOT is also thinking about opening Independence Pass early.

  3. Lou May 2nd, 2012 10:01 am

    Not sure what happened Frank, perhaps a cold front moved in while you were sleeping. At any rate, it stayed quite cold above timberline, protected by clouds… I was thinking the same thing when we started out, that it was perhaps too warm. Funny how temperature from snowtel is only part of the equation…

  4. Rob B May 3rd, 2012 9:33 am

    Any updates on when Indy Pass will open? Hopefully there is still a little snow left to ski…

  5. Terry Mathews May 3rd, 2012 6:43 pm

    Rob B — It looks like CDOT has Indy Pass scheduled to open a week from tomorrow (5/12/12).

    Closed for the Season
    CO 82 Westbound / Eastbound Independence Pass (Milemarker 61-79)
    Scheduled to open May 11th, Friday, at 9am. Weather and conditions permitting. Seasonal closure began November 1st, 2011 at 1:03pm.

  6. Lou May 3rd, 2012 6:49 pm

    Thanks Terry. All, we skied Pearl Mountain and Pearl West today, out of Aspen, same environs approx. as Indy Pass. Unless we get a mega melting event in the alpine, I’d think the Pass would yield some good skiing for a few days after it opens. Super thin snowpack, it’ll be like skiing it a month later… but might be fun. Not sure if we’ll do our annual Barbecue on the Pass this year, will do if the skiing is any good. Probably try to do it first weekend after Pass opens. Lou

  7. Dave Carver May 7th, 2012 9:48 am

    We went up to Castle yesterday. Looking at the Noth Face couloir, but it was icy and the run out had melted on the looker’s left. The NW saddle had good coverage and was a bit manky. It skied well though and the rest of the faces down to the Pearl Pass road had good coverage and sweet corn! We were able to ski down to the cabin.

    I’m betting that Indy’ll be great fun next weekend! Spring is going to be short and sweet.

    -Dave Carver

  8. Lou May 7th, 2012 9:50 am

    We’re thinking of BBQ on the Pass to be Sunday, will start checking weather.

  9. Bob Perlmutter May 7th, 2012 10:29 am

    Hi Lou, sorry to say I’m going to have to miss the annual BBQ on the Pass this year. I hope I can get an excused absence while I enjoy the hospitality, scenery and skiing at the Lyngen Lodge in Norway. All the best and carry on without me.
    Cheers, Perl.

  10. Lou May 7th, 2012 10:33 am

    Hi Bob, thanks for checking in! As you know the snow around here in Colorado is thin, but the skiing is surprisingly good up high. Probably won’t last long, however. You getting some good human-powered vert in Norway? Find any 90 dollar pizza and 12 dollar beers (grin)?

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