Monday, June 27, 2011

Rollins Pass - 7.19.2010

Late last July, with my college roommate Max in town and very much in need of a skiing fix, so Rachel Ertz, Ethan Vimont, Erik Mehus, Max Gosey, and I headed up to Rollins Pass. Rollins pass is located less than 5 1/2 miles as the crow flies from Eldora, but to get to the summit of the pass fr from the Front Range you must drive to Winter Park, then back East towards the Front Range up the west side of Rollins Pass, which is called Corona Pass. This circuitous access is definitely the biggest downside to Rollins Pass. The road is pretty well maintained, but you will regret driving a low clearance car, such as my Jetta, up it.

Rollins pass offers all sorts of skiing options from flat snowfields to set up rails, to very accessible  bowls, to more challenging lines such as Skyscraper Snowfield. This day we were looking for easy access. Fortunately, you can hike about 50 yards from the car and drop into a 400 vertical foot line, which you then must hike out of. This line isn't great, but it provides the easiest access hike to terrain possible for late July. We tried this out first.

Max gets in a little summer hucking
Rachel skis, others hike
The hike out of this first line is a bit of a pain as one must either hike up steep snow or loose steep rocks. Unless you are extremely lazy and hiking a half mile to King Lake bowl is too much, skip this in favor of a couple laps on King Lake Bowl.

Next, we skied King Lake Bowl, which can be accessed by following the continental divide trail 1/2 mile north to the top of the bowl. King Lake Bowl provides 400 vertical feet of mellow turns with a nice cornice on the top and a long run out down to King Lake.

King Lake Bowl
Xoe calls next drop, Ethan and Erik wait their turn
Erik drops in
Rachel

Rachel hikes back out
One of the really awesome things about King Lake Bowl is that there is a trail right next to the snow that you can hike back up on after skiing down(which Rachel decided not to use). 

Skyscraper snowfield
Overall, King Lake Bowl provides very easy access summer skiing with a relatively high chance of good and continuous snow. Plus, it has a really nice trail next to it to hike back out on. Also, it is a great way to get up to Rollins Pass for the first time and get some ideas for future more challenging lines such as Skyscraper.