Spring Backcountry Skiing
The spring alpine ski touring or A.T. skiing, in the Elk Mountains around Aspen and Marble, Colorado is unsurpassed. While the Rocky Mountain snowpack can be very dangerous all winter, the avalanche conditions usually stabilize somewhat in mid-April to the beginning of May, just about the time the lifts close. The freeze/thaw corn cycle begins in the snowpack and the surrounding mountains become a paradise where almost everything is skiable, if conditions are right and you are willing to hike for it.
There are 7 fourteeners and countless 12 and 13 thousand foot peaks to skin up and ski down. Classic nearby ski tours include: Mt. Hayden, Mt. Sopris and Castle Peak. Around Memorial Day, you can drive to the alpine zone. Independence Pass 12,093′ opens and the skiing on the top is awesome. Blue Mountain, Geissier Mountain, Mountain Boy and Fourth of July Bowl are incredible shots with short hikes and long descents to much lower switchbacks on the road. Locals really get after it the first two open weekends on the Pass. Also, check out the classic couloir on 13,989’ Grizzly Peak, seen from the summit, but accessed from Lincoin Creek Road. Also around Memorial day Maroon Creek Road opens providing access to the serious stuff, Pyramid Peak, North and South Maroon Peak and countless other shots. Castle Creek Road is open year round for access to a plethora of peaks and backcountry huts between Ashcroft and Crested Butte. Aspen Expeditions is a great guide service and ski touring gear shop as well as the Ute Mountaineer.
If you like to backcountry ski, come stay with us. Skiing usually last through mid June in the high mountains.