Yesterday Erik and I went up to Dry Gulch, one of our favorite early season touring zones on the Front Range. Just like last week we hadn't heard the most positive reports about the supportability of the snowpack, and these last couple storms had been a bit disappointing; but we've had good experience here in the past, so we thought we'd check it out anyways.
As is usual early season in Dry Gulch, there was very little snow on the valley floor, making for an interesting stream and willow crossing.
As we started skinning up the valley wall we encountered the snow we had been warned about: 18" to 24" of completely unsupportable snow. It was like breaking trail through 18" of new snow as we essentially skinned along the ground. Needless to say this was a fair amount of work; it took us 2.5 hours from the car to the saddle on Trelease.
But we were rewarded with great turns, the snow was soft and supportable above treeline. I had a great time watching Erik rip down through the light falling snow.
|Erik in his happy place|