Forums Trip Reports San Juan Stoke – Early Season Recap
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    820 Posts

    For anyone visiting the San Juans the past few years, they may have left a bit disappointed. The large peaks and gnarly terrain we have has been pretty underwhelming with snow the past few years, as most places have been. It seemed like we never had a winter without a massive scary avalanche cycle, or massive low tide come April.

    This year, things so far have been a bit different, and hoping it continues. The snow has been pretty consistent, and there have been some good events. While the persistent slab does lurk, its less prevalent than previous years and has allowed for some really good riding. The snowpack around Silverton, CO is sitting around 130% of average for this time of year, and the forecast is continuing to look good! Most places in the west continue to have good snow, so the stoke is alive!

    The season started in November this year, with a few storms allowing us to get out. Most of those storms were accompanied with high winds, making some nice strasugi.

    In mid December, the alpine started filling in, and allowed us to poke into some higher terrain. Overall pretty stable conditions and the bridge on the persistent layer getting bigger, but still a concern. Again, more winds up high are making it a bit complex.

    But if you found the right aspects, the skiing was still pretty excellent.

    The storms continued to pile up, allowing us to get creative. Here is our simple san juan approach in the spring, but able to do early season on Dec 20th
    **warning, pictures of skiers!**

    The dog was pumped. Shes turning into quite the shredder.

    Coverage starting to shape up in December 20th.

    A series of new storms came in on Christmas, dropping and additional 3-5′ of snow, and creating a massive avalanche cycle. We stuck to mostly low angle trees and resort riding for a few days (epic at Silv Mountain)

    Jeff was from Brooklyn and timed his week perfectly out west.

    Then, as the week went on, a few little storms came in and allowed us to start getting into larger terrain.

    And after the new years, we started getting into the alpine. Yesterday, we were able to get to 13,510′ peak that overlooked Telluride! We also could see 9 14ers from the peak.

    Sneffles Range

    And on Jan 2nd, on our tour we were graced with a nice visitor to start the day. Pretty cool to see in Southern Colorado.

    Here’s to hopefully a successful winter for all! Keep the stoke alive!

    351 Posts

    Excellent!!!!! Great to see the joy a solid start to the season brings.


    Thx for bringing the silverton area stoke!! Havent made it down that way as of yet this winter. Looks like i might need to soon though!! Been to wolfies several times in the last few months though. Rode a great day after xmas 72″ pow day at the ski hill. West side never opended that day…maybe 100 cars or less there 🙂 It was just like the good ol days at wolf. Need to make it futher west to silverton though….Soon!!!

    Thx for keeping the san juan stoke alive summersgone!!

    820 Posts

    A little more of an update. Another stellar weekend. I use this term sparingly, but this weekend was all time. 8″ of new snow that had no wind affect sitting on a pretty stable layer. Little bit of storm slab, but didn’t go far normally, and very manageable. It allowed us to get into it for the weekend a bit, and break out the verts too.


    This looks awesome. Love the photos!

    1669 Posts

    great photos. must get to the San Juans one of these seasons.

    2486 Posts

    You and Nat should venture that way. you would love it.

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