Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers!
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arthurspiderman
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Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Post by arthurspiderman » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:30 pm

I am starting to get into backcountry skiing and want to hit a bunch of peaks this winter/spring. However, it seems like alot of the better lines are too avy prone to ski until Spring rolls around. What 14ers do you recommend as good ones to hit in calandar winter months beyond the standard Quandary Sherman Elbert?

I have all the gear and have taken AIARE 1 as well as have a good bit of winter mountaineering experience. However, as I'm not to good of a skier, I'm ideally looking for D8 or less.
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bergsteigen
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Re: Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Post by bergsteigen » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:18 pm

The trip report section is your friend.

There are no “good” winter 14ers to ski. Period. Sustrugi. Rocks. Wind. Especially if you’re not an expert skier

Wait till late April and May to ski peaks. Take it from someone who tried it the hard way for years until I figured it out. I’ve skied 202 peaks now.
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games." - Ernest Hemingway (or was it Barnaby Conrad?)
Your knees only get so many bumps in life, don't waste them on moguls!
“No athlete is truly tested until they’ve stared an injury in the face and come out on the other side stronger than ever” -anonymous

http://otinasadventures.com @otina
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arthurspiderman
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Re: Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Post by arthurspiderman » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:14 pm

Thanks for the advice! I’m very excited for those mid spring conditions to roll around, but unfortunately that the time I have to go up into the mountains then is very limited. My buddy and I are in college and April & May is about when the largest workload comes with all the projects/exams/finals.
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Mtnman200
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Re: Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Post by Mtnman200 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:18 pm

arthurspiderman wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:14 pm
Thanks for the advice! I’m very excited for those mid spring conditions to roll around, but unfortunately that the time I have to go up into the mountains then is very limited. My buddy and I are in college and April & May is about when the largest workload comes with all the projects/exams/finals.
Try going as soon as finals are over.
"Adventure without risk is not possible." - Reinhold Messner
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bergsteigen
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Re: Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Post by bergsteigen » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:26 pm

Life is about timing. Sometimes it’s in your favor, other times not. If you lower to 13ers, there are more options, but the reality is almost every 14er will have a bare summit for a significant distance. Spring storms are needed to fill in the summits.
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games." - Ernest Hemingway (or was it Barnaby Conrad?)
Your knees only get so many bumps in life, don't waste them on moguls!
“No athlete is truly tested until they’ve stared an injury in the face and come out on the other side stronger than ever” -anonymous

http://otinasadventures.com @otina
mountainute
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Re: Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Post by mountainute » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:15 am

Arthur,

there is no shortage of peaks to go ski right now, around Leadville, for example, are peaks of any difficulty and length -
you can send me a pm or email and I'll send you some ideas.
Then come late spring, you'll have enough practice and the 14ers will come into shape for skiing.

good luck, mountainute
CORed
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Re: Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Post by CORed » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:22 pm

A good "starter" for skiing mountains would be James Peak from St. Mary's Glacier, pretty much the standard summer route. I'm not, and never was anything close to an expert ski mountaineer, but when I was younger, I used to ski James Peak just about every year. It's steep enough to be interesting, but not to present a huge avalanche risk or "if you fall you die" exposure. My favorite time to climb it was March. I used to do it with telemark gear and skins. AT gear would work too, or maybe even boot up and ski down with alpine gear. I did it in April a few times, but often found difficult snow then: Breakable crust or refrozen garbage that was next to impossible to make a good turn on, at least with my equipment and ability (or lack thereof). In March, I usually found very skiable wind pack from the top to the bottom of St. Mary's, almost like groomed ski area snow. I was never fortunate enough to catch powder -- it doesn't last long the way the wind blows there. You need good weather -- Clear, and preferably not too windy. The wind can get absolutely ridiculous there. With the right weather and snow conditions, James Peak is a blast to ski. By the standard route, it doesn't get much steeper than 30 degrees or so, but but there most of it has enough grade that it's a continuous ski from summit to car.
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Re: Best Early Season 14ers to Ski

Post by ltlFish99 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:44 pm

One I thought was a lot of fun was the tuning fork on Torreys. I believe its D7 or 8, don't remember.
I've been on it in June, and early July and it was a blast.
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