Mt Evans ski

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Busdriver
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Mt Evans ski

Post by Busdriver » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:44 am

I posted about this a few weeks back and got good advice- but I want to ask again given expected snow.

I'm 26, a strong athlete, done plenty of hiking - but little in the winter (incl 10 substantial hikes this winter) as I moved from CA in the fall. I was thinking about climbing Evans from the Bierstadt route and then skiing down the road.

When I posted about this before several of you said that skiing down would not work because much of the road would be unskiable because its windswept and dry- and other parts are heavily drifted over and unskiable for that reason. So- its supposed to snow a ton over the next few days. Would this put enough snow on the road to ski down. Please disabuse me if this is foolish.

I'm also assuming that I can GPS the route up and climb it w/ snowshoes. Tanks for any input.
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justiner
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by justiner » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:11 pm

Skiing down the road meaning you're starting from the Guanella Pass side, then traversing to the Echo Lake side?

I think Beirdstat may become a good ski if we get mucho dumpage. I don't think Evans to Echo Lake makes the greatest of ski - it's not very steep at all - it would feel like a ski tour I would think? You'd be able to ski the downhill NE Face to Summit Lake sure, but that may be it.
Busdriver
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by Busdriver » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:21 pm

Sorry I wasn't very clear. I meant to ski down the paved road from the top of Evans. All to get the trip down done quickly. If it was skiable I wouldn't think it would take an hour-1.5 hours. But if I have to walk most of it that would be most unpleasant and I'd rather go back down the way I went up.
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dwoodward13
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by dwoodward13 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:31 pm

Busdriver wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:21 pm
Sorry I wasn't very clear. I meant to ski down the paved road from the top of Evans. All to get the trip down done quickly. If it was skiable I wouldn't think it would take an hour-1.5 hours. But if I have to walk most of it that would be most unpleasant and I'd rather go back down the way I went up.
I think Justiner is asking how you are going to get back to your car. If you park at the Guanella Pass winter closure, hike up to Evans, the ski down the Mount Evans road, that is going to leave you very, very far way from your car parked at the Guanella Pass closure.

Depending on how strong the winds are, its possible sections of the road will still remain dry or thin in places. Also I'd expect avalanche danger to increase and there are a couple of slide paths over the road, as well as potentially your route up from Guanella Pass (Evans West Gully? A bit unclear if you mean the Sawtooth or the West Gully).
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SchralpTheGnar
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:48 pm

I skied mount Evans a few years ago after a big snowstorm in January, skinned up Chicago creek, booted up the east slopes, skied the road back down to echo lake. The route was about 5k vertical and had a total of 1000 feet of enjoyable skiing, 500 feet near the top and the last 2 miles or so of the road, there was a decent amount of skis off/skis on.

Also we had to cross 3 or 4 sizable avalanche paths that the road crosses that were kinda scary, no other way around them, so when got to them we booted up about 100 feet above the road and then traversed one at a time across the path as dang fast as we could, getting flushed down any of those paths would be no good.
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Trotter
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by Trotter » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:30 pm

Busdriver wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:21 pm
Sorry I wasn't very clear. I meant to ski down the paved road from the top of Evans. All to get the trip down done quickly. If it was skiable I wouldn't think it would take an hour-1.5 hours. But if I have to walk most of it that would be most unpleasant and I'd rather go back down the way I went up.
If you hauling ski boots and skis up to the summit of evans from the bierstadt side, while using snowshoes, you aren't gonna be breaking any speed records anyways. Not sure if that will override any time saved by skiing down 15 miles of road, vs returning 5 miles to your car. Plus that road goes uphill some on the way back. So you'd be unstrapping and walking some.

And yes, you'd need car shuttle. Uber will not pickup or dropoff out there.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. -Nelson Mandela
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called Ego. -Nietzsche
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SkaredShtles
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by SkaredShtles » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:44 pm

Don't do this.
Busdriver
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by Busdriver » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:09 pm

Justiner, I would have a shuttle so its just about how feasible the ski down is on top of the challange of carrying ski gear up.
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justiner
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by justiner » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:41 am

I almost think the other way makes better sense - at least you can ski down the Guanella Pass side, although you may want to start early or the snow is going to get mushy. But if you aren't touring the Evans side on skis it just wouldn't be super fun. I'd see what dedicated skiers think - it's not an altogether usual tour I don't think?
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9patrickmurphy
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by 9patrickmurphy » Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:45 am

Having walked down the Evans road, I don't think you could actually ski much of it. It's very flat, probably 2°-5° on average, which is just too flat to ski and you'd be double-poling the whole way down. Might be fine on cross-country skis but this just doesn't sound like a fun day. I'd advise going back down the Guanella Pass side.
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HikesInGeologicTime
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by HikesInGeologicTime » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:26 am

I walked all 28 (or probably more like 29) the road on Sunday. It's actually kind of a fun experience, if you don't mind sore feet at the end of the day, then the next two days and counting... :p

But add me to the list recommending against skiing it. It is flat (which is what makes it such a relatively pleasant hike, imho); does literally go uphill both ways with one stretch lasting a little over a mile around Summit Lake; and while there was a lot more snow drifting than I expected above treeline, there were still.plenry of dry patches, and the snow was thin and punchy enough that I'd be constantly worried about breaking through and putting skis to pavement.

Even if we do get enough snow to make the road skiable, the relative flatness + all that fresh powder means you're not going to be able to get enough speed going to glide downhill. There are also a few avy hot spots along the road, most of which didn't have enough snow in them to be a concern on Sunday but will almost certainly be a threat if this storm plays out as predicted. In my conditions report, I posted pictures of one danger zone right by mile marker 8 that doesn't look like it'd take much to make it unstable: https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/peakstat ... cnum=19482

Tl;dr: Walk or fat-bike the road once the avy danger settles, but don't ski it.
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madbuck
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Re: Mt Evans ski

Post by madbuck » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:41 am

Following for the lolz and intrigue (seriously be safe no matter what), but
are we talking AT skis/boots/skins, or alpine (yikes)?

It'll be equally flat no matter what gear, but based on your initial descriptions and not really talking about skimo, just wanted to check.
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