Backcountry Skiing in Colorado

Skiing and Hiking in the Colorado Backcountry

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Running up Antero (14,336′)

The Ridge, Final push to Antero’s Summit

Dave Gardner and I decided that June 16th would be a good day to knock off Mt. Antero (14,336′), another of the official 15 Sawatch 14ers.  We decided to take Dave’s Jeep so we could drive up a good portion of the road and make the 15 mile trek into a more manageable 7 miles.  Dave’s Jeep climbed like a champ and before long we were at about 11,000 ft crossing the creek.  We decided we’d stop here and start hiking in order to get a 3,000 ft vertical ascent in, which some consider to be a condition of a true 14er summit. Continue reading


La Plata, Eric’s First 14er

La Plata… ain’t she a beaut?

It was another 1am departure as Eric Internicola and I left Denver to try and tackle La Plata Peak (14, 336′) on June 3rd.  This would mark my 32nd straight month skiing and for Eric, this would be his first attempt at both a 14er climb, let alone a ski descent.  Needless to say he was pretty pumped, but I could tell Eric was concerned about his fitness.  Eric would be the first to tell you he was moving slowly on our attempt at Notch Top which turned into a descent on Dragontail.  Although I think it was more the weather than Eric’s pace that led to a plan B descent, I know Eric did not want to keep us from summiting La Plata, and I was sure he was up for the challenge. Continue reading


Mt. Elbert (14,433′), The Top of Colorado!

On May 28th Jon Jay and I set out for an early morning assault toward a thin Box Creek Cirque on Mt. Elbert.  I climbed Mt. Massive over 5 years ago and have wanted to get after Elbert for a while now.  However, I figured if I was going to climb it, I’d rather get a good ski in as well.  I’d just been waiting for the right time and Jon was down for the trip… it was on! Continue reading


Hopeful on Cinco de Mayo

Mt. Hope, Hopeful Couloir Descent

I’ve been waiting to publish this trip report to make sure I give it the credit it deserves.  On April 28th I attempted the Hopeful Couloir on Mt. Hope (13,933′) with my buddy Eric and due to some route-finding errors (actually one BIG route-finding error) we never made it.  Hungry for redemption I called Jon Jay that week and told him I knew where to go, and we were going to ski the Hopeful.  Jon agreed (as he usually does) and I met him at the trailhead at 4:15 am and we started to climb.  Much like my trip up Dragon Tail I knew we would be fighting a hot sun so we set a brisk pace with headlamps donned. Continue reading