Mar 27

Spring skiing is in full swing on Red Mountain Pass, although not in the traditional sense of hot days, slushy snow, and swimsuits.  A series of powerful spring storms have buffeted the range in the last two weeks, bringing almost two feet of snow and incredible powder skiing conditions.

Spring Powder Skiing on Red Mountain Pass.

Spring Powder Skiing on Red Mountain Pass. Photo courtesy Jayson Simons Jones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oct 16

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center just released their three month outlook for the months of December, January, and February.  Due to the strong El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, they are predicting above average snowfall for mountain regions in the Southern United States, including the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

National Weather Service Climate Prediction for December, January, February.

National Weather Service Climate Prediction for December, January, February.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Apr 3

It’s April and ski mountaineering season is in full swing in the San Juan Mountains.  With good snow conditions and reliable weather, we have been making ski descents of classic peaks like Red Mountain #3, Gilpin Peak, and the Chattanooga Chutes. Check out these photos from our recent trips:

On top of the Chattanooga Chutes.

On top of the Chattanooga Chutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan 24

The big storms of mid-to-late January have produced excellent backcountry skiing and some lively conditions for avalanche courses.  Since January 16th the San Juans have received over 3 feet of snow, most of it coming in “right-side-up” storms that have started warm and finished cold, making the surface snow cold, dry, and soft – which is primo for skiing.  The big load has also tested the snowpack’s strength, creating a perfect learning environment for our avalanche courses.  We’ve been out enjoying the nice skiing as well as the great conditions for avalanche education.  Following are some photos from our recent trips.

Recent storms have produced excellent backcountry skiing.

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Jan 5

We had a great AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course over New Year’s weekend.  The interesting snowpack conditions made for good learning opportunities and we skied some good snow too!  Following are some photos from the course.

Tyler digs a quick snow profile to evaluate the reactivity of wind slabs.

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Nov 9

Chad and I (Matt) had our first day of the ski season yesterday (11/8). We skied great boot-top powder on North facing terrain in Commodore Basin.  There was 4″ of fluffy new snow capping a substantial 3 foot deep snowpack.  The skiing was very smooth and predictable, and lots of fun!  In fact, it was pretty outstanding for November 8th!  Following are some photos from our day:

Chad riding boot-top powder in upper Commodore Basin on November 8th.

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May 15

The seasonal snowfall record for the Northern San Juans has been broken!  A whopping 465″ of snow fell on Red Mountain Pass this season, surpassing the previous record of 445″ set in 1992-93.  There is currently a tremendous amount of snow in the mountains and it is likely late-May and June will offer some of the best spring skiing conditions we have seen in years.

Skiing endless powder during the epic winter of 2010-2011. This photo taken on May 12th.

May 11

Yes, it’s true, today was a powder day.  And with 9″ of new, cold snow it was a really good powder day!  Actually, for May 11, it was pretty remarkable.  Here are some photos from the “Serpentine” ski descent Jack and I did on Red Mountain #2.

Jack enjoying amazing powder riding on May 11th

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Apr 28

The seasonal snowfall total for the Northern San Juans has reached 415″, which is just 15″ shy of the seasonal snowfall record for the range!  Our recent 4-day storm deposited nearly four feet of snow, which was like like Christmas in April for skiers.  Here are a few photos from the highway department’s avalanche control work on Red Mountain Pass yesterday:

 

Avalanche control results on the Blue Point slide path near Red Mountain Pass. A large slab of storm snow released on a dust layer.

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Mar 21

Trond and I had a wonderful day of backcountry skiing and avalanche awareness last Thursday.  We skied in Commodore Basin – just down the road from the summit of Red Mountain Pass – and we found really nice powder and good stability on the North aspect of the basin.  For our first run we skied “Grandma’s Couloir”, a 35+ degree chute with just enough room for two tracks.

Trond making an elegant descent of Grandma's Couloir

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AMGA Certification
Peak Mountain Guides staff members Angela Hawse, Geoff Unger, and Tim Brown are AMGA certified American Mountain Guides and IFMGA internationally licensed guides.

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