Skiing in RMNP

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers!
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Don Eberl
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Skiing in RMNP

Postby Don Eberl » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:33 pm

Wondering if someone might have info on skiing in RMNP. I have skied Flattop, but am looking for suggestions for a little more challenge. Something in between Flattop and the Dragon's Coulair. Would Andrews Glacier be a possibility?
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

I am going up on Friday and if nothing else I will ski the upper part of Hidden Valley. If anyone is going up, I sure would like to hook up with someone. I have all of the Avy Gear and some awareness training.
Some of it's majic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way.

Jimmy Buffett
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lordhelmut
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Re: Skiing in RMNP

Postby lordhelmut » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:54 pm

Don,

Pick up a copy of "Front Range Descents" and there is an entire chapter on some stuff for RMNP. A really solid place to check out is the valley between Notchtop and Flattop. There is the Notchtop Couloir, North Couloirs on Flattop's North Face, and then a bunch of stuff around the Ptarmigan Fingers (need to hit early, east facing). In the Bear Lake drainage, there is a bunch of skiing from as difficult as Dragon's Tail to something more mellow on the Tyndall Glacier below Hallet. Hallet has some fine lines off of it as well. Here's a TR of myself and my buddy from last year (http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8072&parmuser=lordhelmut&np=3&cpgm=tripuser)

For longer approaches, the Mummy Range has some phenomenal ops as well. Fairchild, Hagues and Ypsilon all have south facing lines worth hitting (10-12 miles and 4000-4500 vertical). One of my favorite adventures in the hills to date was a ski descent of the Banana Couloir off Chiquita, with an approach from the visitor's center, a ski of the chute and then an adventure through the woods, ending at a car shuttle at EndoValley picnic area.

In conclusionm my recomendations would be :

1 - Notchtop Couloir
2 - Banana Couloir
3 - Keplinger's Couloir on Longs
4 - Tyndall Glacier/Hallett

I have only really scratched the surface of RMNP backcountry, so others might know of some even better spots (Never Summers.....)
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Don Eberl
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Re: Skiing in RMNP

Postby Don Eberl » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:28 pm

Thanks Lordhelmet

In fact, I looked for that book yesterday in the Westminster REI but to no avail. I will check downtown.

Man, your trip report is great. Currently I have no partners so I was thinking maybe going towards Tyndall. My big issue is that this is my first year on Tele's and although I have done alot of blacks at the resorts and some backcountry, I don't think I yet ready for some of those steep coulairs. Would it be reasonable to skin up Tyndal to a comfortable level? or would I need crampons/ice axe to ascend?

Maybe I should avoid that area all together since I would be solo.
Some of it's majic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way.

Jimmy Buffett
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astrobassman
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Re: Skiing in RMNP

Postby astrobassman » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:07 pm

Don, I was thinking about skiing Andrews Glacier on Friday. I want to go walk up to the summit of Taylor while I'm up there as well. Shoot me a PM if you're interested in going up together.
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Dave B
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Re: Skiing in RMNP

Postby Dave B » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:38 pm

Mt Bancroft, Parry and Eva peak offer some fine lines that might be a bit less committing, I also hear Paiute Peak in the IPW has a nice moderate line.

Either-way I definitely second the Front Range Ski Descents book, it's got a lot of good info on northern front range skis.
The mountains - whose summits reach or exceed arbitrary thresholds for elevation and prominence - are calling and I must go.

-John Muir

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