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Mt. Sopris

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Mt. Sopris

Postby jrp » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:59 am

What class of difficulty would Mt. Sopris be rated?

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Postby Scott P » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:11 am

In late fall or winter, it’s a long ascent, best accomplished over two days. I don’t know if the road is open year round, but I was able to drive there (hunters(?) had kept the road open) in late November/early December. I tried climbing it in one day during bad weather, but it got dark at 12,400 feet and I had to turn back.

Anyway, the route is usually “fairly safe” from avy danger, but there is one slope getting to the ridge above Thomas Lakes that could slide under certain conditions, but this would probably be pretty rare. Never-the-less, you should check it out first and always be aware.

If you are speaking of summer, then there is a trail to the top. Consider it an all day class 1-2 trip in the summer. Some camp overnight at the lakes.

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Postby denalibound » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:24 am

Scott,

Would you be interested in trying it again this winter? I have been putting some thought into it for this winter and would love some company.

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Postby Scott P » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:11 am

Would you be interested in trying it again this winter? I have been putting some thought into it for this winter and would love some company.


Sure, but it will have to be February-March as I'm pretty booked up for December (except 15-16 when I was hoping to go somewhere closer).

I wouldn't mind trying it again, this time over two days. One day is way to long in winter, at least for me. Coming down in the dark and cold wasn't that fun.

Anyway, it would be nice if we could find out if the road is open year round. As mentioned, it was in late November/early December, but I'm not sure about February.

Anyway, could make a good trip. Just let me know.

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Postby tmahon » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:12 am

as a winter day trip, if breaking trail is needed, sopris is tough. as an overnight, camping at thomas lakes(10,200) and then summiting and skiing the following day is a really fun trip. the road closes pretty low due to snow and can be snowmobiled to the dinkle lake TH, saving 2.5 miles of skinning.
in spring, on frozen snow, lots of people make a day trip of it, the low winter road closure may melt out somewhat. a lot of the route is east facing and gets early sun.

dawsons guide to colorado backcountry skiing vol. 1 covers sopris in detail. he has the RT via thomas lakes and the summer trail at 16 miles.

better yet, if you are thinking skis, try the crystal chute, the prominent couloir you see from carbondale. i think it rarely gets done

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Postby Rockymtnhigh69 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:23 am

Great winter expedition.. I went with two expert ski moutaineers from Aspen.
Be careful in winter up there guys.. Dont know what route you guys will take but Crystal Chute/Laundry Chutes can slide.. They are perfect avalanche slopes 38 to 45 degrees. I have skied Thomas Lake Bowl which is generally safe. .. Great winter fun up on the mountain but it is quite a slog from Dinkle Lk. I would check with the Sopris Ranger station in Carbondale and stay away from the cornices if they are present up there.
On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm....
And that's when the Ducati got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds - and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.

~Hunter S. Thompson, Song of the Sausage Creature

(VT)

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Postby Scott P » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:26 am

I hate to be a wuss, but I typically don't do any chutes in winter. :wink: Earliest I've done them is mid-April. Chutes are more a mid-April (or later) through June thing, at least for me.

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Postby jfox » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:48 am

Sopris has caught my eye quite often. I really want to climb this bad-boy as well. So, if we get a group in say February or later, I'd definitely be interested!

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Postby tmahon » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:48 am

nothing wussy about that, it's real risky mid season. sometimes a window opens with surprisingly good stability and previously dangerous lines are safe, until the next storm but generally all the aggressive lines have to wait til spring like you said.

i think there's a difference b/t being 'smart' and a 'wuss', both of which are better for living another day than their opposite- reckless

i've only heard a few names of people who have ever skied the crystal chute, i haven't done it. i was just throwing it out there

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Postby denalibound » Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:19 pm

February sounds good to me. It will give me some time to shed some pounds that have been packed on by the holiday feasts.

I think I am with Scott on the mid season chute thing. I would rather stack the odds in my favor by avoiding them all together if possible.

I'm also not an expert skier, so unless there is a mellow line down I would probably be more inclined to hoof it.

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Postby Rockymtnhigh69 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:26 pm

I agree with Scott and Tmahon... Like most chutes in mid winter, Sopris is not a place to be skiing chutes mid season or anywhere else for that matter... Definitely a Late spring ski jaunt.. The Thomas Lakes Bowl is the safest, has the easiest lines down Sopris IMO..
On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm....
And that's when the Ducati got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds - and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.

~Hunter S. Thompson, Song of the Sausage Creature

(VT)

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Postby ktimm » Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:28 pm

I could be up for it in early spring. I have been interested in Sophris.

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