And yellow, and blue, and red, and…
|Got the Jeep fired up this past weekend and headed for Colorado’s Schofield Pass and points in between. One of my favorite short hikes in that area is Arkansas Mountain from the Leadking Basin Road. You get to the top of Arkansas, and the 14,000 foot Maroon Bells rise in the distance like the ramparts of a medieval castle. After more than eight months of snow the scene appears surreal, but you get used to it real quick — especially after a nap on the summit.
If you live in the Aspen valley you’re probably used to seeing the ‘Bells from their more photographed northern aspects. This south western side as viewed from the Schofield area is what folks from Crested Butte see as they hike, bike and 4-wheel.
One thing I enjoy about this view is that the face of the “Sleeping Indian” is still visible to the left of the ‘Bells summits, just as it is from the Aspen side. Can you spot him and his war bonnet? He’s known in PC circles as the “Sleeping Sexton” but I think the profile looks more like a noble Plains Indian warrior than someone’s fantasy of a lazy church janitor. As for snow, when it comes the backcountry skiing in this area is not too shabby.
And by the way SCHOFIELD PASS IS OPEN — it is clear of snow earlier than anyone can remember.
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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring
and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners
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