Spring Skiing in Colorado: Cripple Creek Staff Update
After a record setting winter, The Cripple Creek Staff have been making the most of conditions. Here's what we've been up to:
Doug has been getting out to the local stomping grounds around the Elks, but has also gotten out of town for some longer expeditions. In addition to the CCBC staff retreat, he made it down to the San Juan's a second time to ski peaks around Telluride. The highlights of the bunch were the San Joaquin Couloir and the Northeast face of Wilson Peak- one of the 50 Classic ski descents of North America. Listen to his recap at the end of Episode 59 of Totally Deep with Cody Townsend.
In what is becoming a yearly tradition Doug also made the trek out to Moab to ski the snowy peaks above the red rock. We have heard rumors that the La Sals are at as much as 600% of average this year, so don't forget to take your skis along with your mountain bike.
Later this Spring, you can find Doug loading up the van and heading out to ski the Cascades Volcanoes. His big missions will be on Shuksan and Baker which are the last remaining volcanoes on his tick list. However, it is hard to drive past Hood, Adams, and Rainier and not get on snow. Check back here for his full trip reports as the season develops!
Matt spent April and early May in the Elks where he was content hitting variations on lines that don’t usually hold snow. During that time, he mixed in a couple of weeks helping friends dig out an avalanche affected backcountry hut that was under dozens of feet of snow and trees, before he headed to the San Juan's for some lines above 12,000’.
Fantastic access for big peaks has allowed for some crowd favorite social skiing with snow holding deep all the way to parking lots and closure gates. A highlight of the spring for Matt has definitely been scoping the new avalanche paths, ski lines, and access routes that were opened up by mother nature’s timber removal.
Now that the county crews are out in force trying to get mountain passes open, this year is feeling more like a ‘third season’ has emerged. As we get back to more traditional spring access with plowed road approaches and exits, Matt plans to make the most of the 'off-season'. Stay tuned for trip reports as Matt links up the local ridgelines, peaks, and couloirs close to Aspen as long as the snow will allow!
Tom has been taking advantage of some of the low hanging fruit around Summit and Eagle Counties. Some highlights included a day skiing steep spring powder in the Gore Range, a morning lap in Silver Couloir, and a beautiful day on Grouse Mountain. Venturing a little further away from home, Tom had a blast during his first 'Sopris Sprint' and powder skiing in the San Juan's during the staff hut trip. Honestly, he is just psyched to be skiing after a long winter of digging pits and looking at snow crystals!
Looking forward, Tom plans to make the most of the opening of Independence Pass along with a bike to ski mission of The Cross Couloir. Tom is loving the quiet times during the off season and has taken advantage of the dryer trails at lower elevations along with the phenomenal skiing in the Alpine. While he will admit his bike has been out of storage once or twice, Tom is still psyched on skiing and plans to ski all 12 months in 2019.
As the season progresses be sure to check back here as we publish trip reports from all of our adventures!
- Thomas Bull