(Last Updated On: April 25, 2015)
The San Juan’s Zipper couloir may go by another name, but one that isn’t “family friendly”. Since we’ve also heard it called by this name, this is the one we’ll go by. The Zipper is the highly visible line on the South side of Grand Turk between Durango and Silverton. With the warm temperatures and low snow year in the Southwest part of Colorado, it’s already “game on”, and the snowpack is already retreating rapidly. Get it while you can.
We met our friend Sven Brunso at the trailhead, and once we finished the skintrack, the real work began. Sven entering the bottom of the couloir:
We may live in the Elk mountain range, but the San Juans might still be our favorite. The views on this route were amazing, and host a lifetime of ski possibilities.
The Zipper is a fun climb with aesthetic rock walls lining the route as it twists and turns up the Grand Turk.
Despite being fairly early in the season, the Zipper was in “late season” shape. A bit of rockfall, plus an earlier group that unfortunately sideslipped most of the couloir made for interesting conditions. Still, it was plenty soft and fun. Sven:
Once we exited the couloir, the snow went from good to perfect. So many years we miss out on good corn skiing, but this year the snow has been setting up nicely- and “knock on wood”, it’s still white. If we can just avoid a dust storm, this spring could be one of the better ones we’ve had, even with a low snowpack.
No trip for us to the San Juans is complete without a quick stop in one of our favorite towns anywhere:
The San Juans are skiing great right now, get down there while the snow lasts. We’ll be heading back soon, no doubt about it.
It’s “pointy things” season. Pick up a Whippet, on sale now: