So what does 4 feet of new snow look like in Rocky Mountain National Park? I thought this to myself as we drove up from Boulder around 6am. It turns out 4 feet of fresh snow in the park is quite beautiful and even better to ski. As we booted up in the Bear Lake parking lot it was great to see Chuck and Sarah with their friends and have a bit of time to catch up. Our crew of (don’t laugh, or do) John, John, Paul, Paul, and Mike were eager to see how good the snow on the north facing aspects were and contemplated between going up and over Flattop or heading to the Dream chutes. The other aspects all looked a little sun baked and would be excellent corn skiing in a few days.
The wind made our decision easy as the plumes off the high peaks gave us a good indication of just how windy it would be if we went over Flattop. The trail breaking was hard work, but worth every spent calorie as the snow appeared to be great. Needless to say the skiing was good enough we went back for a second lap and finished the day with smiles on our faces and good friends all around.
The south, east, and west aspects all received a significant amount of sun and will be great to ski in a few days. The true north aspects could hold a bit of powder, but if they get any sun, expect some good spring crust to be there.
I can’t wait to get back out and ski a bit more in the near future. The Elevator Shaft, Ptarmigan Fingers, Notchtop, and Buffalo are all awaiting ski descents this spring.
Gear used on this outing by Mike Alkaitis:
Skis: K2 Combas
Bindings: Dynafit F12
Boots: Black Diamond Factor
Skins: Black Diamond STS Light
Beacon Shovel and Probe: Backcountry Access
Shell: Marmot Mica Jkt
Pants: Marmot Scree Pant
Poles: Black Diamond Whippet
Pack: BCA Alp 55
Check out the gear reviews for some of these and give your opinion on the products.