Sunday, January 8, 2012

Butler Gulch - 1.8.2012

After a four hour drive back to Boulder from Loveland yesterday, Rachel and I decided to go somewhere that would involve a little less time on I-70 today. However, since the snowpack in the northern mountains is still a bit thin, at least some I-70 seemed necessary. Rachel agreed to show me around Butler Gulch, where I'd never been before. 

We started with a long, but beautiful skin up the access road from the Jones Pass parking lot. This is only about the third BC day I've done this year without sled access, so it took some getting used to skinning up a road...



Eventually we reached the steeper part of the gulch and quickly reached treeline.


Berthoud pass to our north:


Dropping into our first lap we were stoked to ski fresh snow for the first time in a very very long time. Rachel:



At the bottom we threw our skins back on and headed up, but not before a refreshing dusting of snow from the trees:


As has become the trend lately, we had skin issues on the way up. By the time we reached treeline the shadows were getting long:


This time we headed farther west, finding even deeper windloaded snow.
After two laps and our skin issues, we were out of time, and headed down to the car. Its always fun to go somewhere new, and I'm excited to add this to the quiver of front range backcountry skiing options. This would be a great place to take someone who is relatively new to the backcountry, or not yet confident enough to step into more challenging terrain.