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Backcountry skiing

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Backcountry skiing

Postby ETA » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:23 pm

I'm planning to rent a pair of skis and skins for a couple days in Dillon starting Friday. I'm looking for suggestions on areas to test the equipment and my abilities, no laughter please. I'm not planning on skiing chutes, the idea is to use them for approach trails to climbs and glide back out. I just want to try the gear and find out if I need it (2nd step of the gearacholic program). I plan on camping and carrying gear, again no laughter. If you have ideas that might be suitable for a couple days I'd appreciate the information. Given the time I have, driving a couple hours is within reason.
Thanks.
Ed
3 or 4 miles, can't be much further than that.

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Re: Backcountry skiing

Postby SeracZack » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:58 pm

Montezuma behind keystone. I think is the area where I have been pointed to before with reasonable trails. The north side of loveland pass exit (follow the road back to the north) has some good stuff right now, but be extremely careful there due to avy danger.

There are probably better suggestions out there, but those come to mind off hand.

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Re: Backcountry skiing

Postby Kitten » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:17 am

I once did a trip with the CMC from Frisco to Breckenridge (20 miles roundtrip aprox). I remember the trail was fairly easy to follow and it was not too steep, it was very enjoyable. Now, since this was more than 10 years ago, I do not remember how to access the trail, it was somewhere around Frisco, but I don't exactly know where. I hope someone here knows this trail and can give you better directions.
Montezuma is a good area too.
"Do or do not, there is no try"
Yoda, Star Wars.

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Re: Backcountry skiing

Postby scramble » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:35 am

i just glided around RMNP with our avy class. we started at the bear lake TH and went to emerald lake. i think tours between the lakes around RMNP would be just super gorgeous and awesome scenery. also hidden valley was good for taking the skins off and downhilling (and minimal avy danger) but everywhere had shitty early-season coverage. the trails between the lakes went through many heavily-treed and low-angle slopes, but they did cross under some higher-angle terrain that has been known to slide. right now it's really safe (yeah everything is on top of a weak layer, but there is just not that much snow! plus the trails are well-packed from traffic) though a couple of storms are coming in this week, so i dunno what future forecasts will say!

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Re: Backcountry skiing

Postby mtngoat » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:41 am

Kitten wrote:I once did a trip with the CMC from Frisco to Breckenridge (20 miles roundtrip aprox). I remember the trail was fairly easy to follow and it was not too steep, it was very enjoyable. Now, since this was more than 10 years ago, I do not remember how to access the trail, it was somewhere around Frisco, but I don't exactly know where. I hope someone here knows this trail and can give you better directions.
Montezuma is a good area too.


You were probably on the Peaks trail (http://www.everytrail.com/guide/peaks-trail/map) which is typically a mountain bike trail but I could certainly see it being used as a cross-country trail in the winter. The Montezuma area is good and you can always skin up and around Breck itself, the patrollers there are pretty gracious as long as you stay to the sides of the trail. And yes, it is permissible since Vail Resorts (owning company of Breck) leases the land from the Forest Service and does not own the land. Though they could cite some obscure policy regarding their right to monitor the area for safety and liability reasons, I've never had a problem skinning there.

Be Safe, Be Aware, and come back.
-Dave

If your life's work can be completed within your lifetime - you are not thinking big enough.

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Re: Backcountry skiing

Postby idrunk » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:47 am

Have you considering getting nordic gear? If you're only using this equipment for convenience on the approach, you'll find nordic gear to be superior on the flats, comparable on mellow climbs and with a little practice, capable descending. Especially if your budget is tight, the price point for nordic gear vs. AT gear is going to get you lighter and more comfortable equipment at the nordic end of the spectrum. Unless your want to make powder turns and really getting into the back country thing, nor-dork gear might be the way to go.

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