Summer Backcountry Skiing in Colorado (Posted July 14, 2005)

Post by blogger | July 14, 2005      

Yesterday we got up to Castle Peak, a fourteener
with a large permanent snowfield known as Montezuma Glacier. The
summit ski descent route is out, so we didn’t do a summit climb and
instead did some backcountry skiing on the snowfield (II
D5 R2) and practiced our ice axe self-arrest technique. I used the new Naxo
NX21 heavy duty randonnee bindings — they tested out fine. We didn’t
do much vertical, but had fun and made our July goal for "turns all
year." FYI, the 4×4 approach road to Montezuma is open to within
about 1/4 mile of the summer parking, and looks like it will open
the rest of the way in a few days after more snowmelt. The road is
rough (the way we like it), 4-wheel-drive and good clearance are

Castle Peak and Montezuma Glacier, Colorado.
Louie on Montezuma Glacier, Castle Peak summit to left.
Backcountry skiing, summer in Colorado.
The backcountry snow surface on Montezuma
varied from somewhat runneled and cupped to quite smooth. We’re
in the middle of a heat wave, "slurppie" is the best single word
description of conditions. Was it worth it? Yep. But then, as
Louie says, "a bad day of skiing is better than the best day
at school."


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