Forums Trip Reports Winter 2015 Returns – San Juan Day Trip
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  • #781918
    summersgone
    820 Posts

    It seems this year the San Juans have got the short end of the straw. Storms swinging through would hit northern Colorado, barely clipping the San Juans. This made the stoke level of partner’s low, the snow conditions marginal, and the avalanche conditions generally scary throughout the year. As with most locations, it was a trying year for most.

    Our year started with snow in November, and then by January, a massive 100+mph wind event took all the snow from the alpine and removed it. Then, 7 weeks of dry spells crushed our souls. While we could still ride, the stoke was low. And then, we got a very large storm (48”), which created extremely large avalanche cycles. Paths that were rare offenders went very large, creating awesome riding for next season, but for this season, done. Scary to say the least.

    April started out with no snow in 30 days. The conditions switched from scary to green light, and corn conditions started prevailing. Also, our typical dust layers were non-existent due to more moisture in the Colorado Plateau (unconfirmed, but we’ll take it!).
    With most storms missing us this year, our expectations were somewhat low for the remainder of the season. So, when we saw a storm forecast for the San Juans, we were a bit pessimistic. We’ll go if we get over 8” was the consensus. The storm came, and the Snotels were not reading correctly, we thought about taking out the dirt bikes. But good thing for us Jason (a recent splitfester) had been up in Silverton, and confirmed 8” on Red Mountain Pass. Ok, we’ll give it a shot.

    Driving over the final pass from the south into Silverton, we were skeptical of this 8”. We saw about a dusting. Oh man, not again we thought. Then, as we drove up Cement Creek towards Silverton Mountain area, it got deeper, and deeper, until it finished with about 8” in the parking lot. This could be good.

    With Silverton Mountain closed on 4/12/15, it opens the mountain’s up to the locals for touring. Great options exist, and we were after it. After a quick drive up the groomer with our buddies Raptor, we started climbing. We were the first ones out, and would be the last ones back. There was around a foot of new snow where it loaded.

    Jason Breaking Trail up to Rope D Ramp, the wind loaded from N to S, so the southerly facing aspects were awesome.

    The crews stoke level had returned!

    Our Tracks down the Ramp. We were the first 4. First time we have got first tracks down this.
    Then, we went across to the other side, Grassy Knoll, for some low angle awesome powder.


    The snow was so good, we decided for another on the run lookers left. The weather changed, which preserved the pow on West Aspects all the way through the day.






    It looks like another pattern is coming in. Maybe it is the return of winter? Let’s hope so.

    #781923
    Taylor
    797 Posts

    Great images. The feast or famine–and sheer joy of the feast after the famine–reminds me of AZ. It’s amazing how the San Luis Valley demarcated such a stark contrast in snowfall this winter. Glad to see you guys getting after it, and yes – this weekend’s storm looks to be a repeat of last weekend’s storm, but further south and more favorable to the Juans. Winter in April — fine by me too.

    @sun_rocket

    #781924
    stoudema
    551 Posts

    Nice summersgone, really beautiful country! I’d love to get out that way sometime. Looks like April has delivered, at least a little bit, all across the west. Hope we get one more storm before the season’s over!

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