Spring Skiing near Jasper Lake, 5/06

Jasper lake (or, to be more accurate, resevoir), sits at the base of Devil's thumb in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado. We had heard there was good spring skiing in the bowls above the lake, and really hoped a bit lower down since the approach is between 5 and 6 miles from the Hessie trailhead. Unfortuately, such was not the case, and we ended up hiking in plastic Tele-Boots for at least 4 miles before we got to put the skis on. Nice day at least
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The weather has been hot, and the spring run-off was going full force. Here the trail is doing an impression of a stream, and doing quite well at it. The pussy-willows were out to say hello as well.

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Another interesting aspect to winter this year was several dust storms dumping a lot of dust on the rockies. This is also a factor in the very fast melt-off. Makes for some fun patterns in the snow, but lousy spring skiing. How does one wax for "4-corners dust"?

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Finally, Jasper resevoir, and even a small dry spot to pitch the tent. Nice views of the bowls, but nothing spectacular for skiing. The snow was borderline slush, but we took a few evening turns anyway
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Second day we hiked up to the nearby ridge for a few more turns before heading out. Indian Peaks are always pretty spectacular. Skiing was a lot better early in the morning as well, although it softened up very fast.
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Back at the lake, kicking back in the easy chair!
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And then the long hike out, in plastic boots, on hard ground. The slightly interesting bit was when, not quite back in the trees, but carrying skis on our backs, the thunder storms moved in. Nothing like being a walking lightening rod to quicken the pace.

Overall, it turned out to be a spring hiking trip with some skiing, rather than the other way around as had originally been intended. Ah well, beats working!


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