(Last Updated On: May 18, 2012)
Frank and I headed to the Front Range over the weekend for family obligations. While Frank was looking for things to ride, I was looking for mountains that could still be skied. I contacted a few people and options were thrown on the table, but the weather simply didn’t look good. Finally, on Friday afternoon, I happened to be checking Facebook and noticed that Mark had posted about trying to ski Torreys on Saturday, despite the potential weather front moving in. Mark is an old friend of mine, with whom I’ve shared many fantastic backcountry ski days when I lived on the Front Range. Maybe it’s because we’re both teachers, but we’ve always been kindred spirits, and I knew a day out with Mark would be fun no matter what conditions we encountered.
As I drove from Golden through heavy fog on I-70 in the dark morning hours, I was expecting snow up high. Instead, I was amazed as I drove out of the thick fog. As I looked toward the sky, my eyes squinted hard. Were those stars up there? Indeed they were. And the sky was emerging blue as I met up with Mark in Bakerville and we made our way up to the trailhead. We were able to drive all the way to the summer parking where we began our hike.
We hiked with happy faces up the valley- happy to have been blessed with perfect weather, happy to have fresh snow on the ground, and happy to be able to skin up the trail instead of bootpack. Luck was surrounding us!
While powder surrounded us, the new snow had warmed quickly on Dead Dog since it faces east. Playing it on the conservative side, we skied down the ridge to the lower entrance rather than dropping in right off the summit. Mark dropped in first.
We were able to ski to about 1/4 of a mile from the car! Not bad for mid-May in a poor snow year!
But, as we made our way out the valley, clouds began to surround Torreys and the other high peaks. We finished our perfect blue-bird day with snow falling all around us. What a fitting finale to our unbelievably fantastic day!