Rising from the lowlands west of Salida, a giant mountain marks the path to Monarch Pass. This cornerstone of the lower Arkansas River Valley is Mount Shavano, 14,229 feet, southernmost peak of the Sawatch Range.
Mount Shavano is named after a great leader of the Tabeguache band of the Utes. Across a saddle from Mount Shavano rises the dramatic summit of Tabeguache Peak, 14,155 feet, protected by a wide ring of boulders and broken cliffs. Continue reading “Colorado: A spring hike on twin 14ers”→
In winter, tracks in the snow tell a clear story on hiking trails. After a snowstorm, the trail is nonexistent. As days of clear, sunny weather go by, a road of footprints, ski, and snowshoe tracks form a road on the most popular trails. Continue reading “Colorado: Snowy tracks on Mt. Yale”→
Mount Massive dominates the skyline west of Leadville in Lake County, Colorado. The 14-mile hike up Mount Massive is considered a fairly easy trail during the short summer season, with a well-traveled path to the ridgeline. The standard route begins at a trailhead near Halfmoon Campground in the valley between Mount Massive, 14,421 feet, and the highest peak in Colorado, 14,433-foot Mount Elbert.
The winter trek can be a couple of miles longer when access may be restricted on the Forest Service road leading to the base of the mountain. When the road to Halfmoon Campground is completely blocked by snow, the National Fish Hatchery at the northern base of Mount Massive provides a longer access route along the Colorado Trail. Continue reading “Colorado: Exploring Mt. Massive”→
SUMMIT COUNTY — In a pattern reminiscent of last winter’s sustained La Niña, the northern mountains should get clipped by a fast-moving storm that could drop between 4 and 7 inches of snow at elevations above 8,500 feet.
West-facing slopes will be favored by orographic conditions — as the moist flow out of the west is pushed up over the mountains, the moisture will be squeezed out west and along the Continental Divide.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Looking back through the Summit Voice photo archives, it’s clear that, even as the vivid hues of summer give way to more austere autumn tones (notwithstanding the brilliance of aspens), something magical happens with the light. The sun doesn’t climb quite as high into the sky, so there are more hours of the day when you can shoot landscapes with a low-angle sun. Details pop, without losing saturation and long shadows add drama. Continue reading “Morning photo: Autumn light”→
CAIC reports widespread snow slide activity during the past few days
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — In addition to the May 21 avalanche death on Torreys Peak, several other people were caught in late season slides last weekend, as backcountry enthusiasts took to the hills to enjoy late-season powder.
More snow and rapidly changing weather conditions during the next few days are likely to result in more backcountry avalanches, according to a May 23 update from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The CAIC is not forecasting specific avalanche hazard levels anymore, but is updating general backcountry snow and weather conditions through the end of May.
According to the CAIC, two riders were injured slightly in separate incidents on Berthoud Pass when small avalanches swept them over cliff bands. The avalanche center received reports of many more triggered and natural slides from Arapahoe Basin up along the Front Range to Berthoud Pass, as far north as the Steamboat area. Widespread avalanches were also reported from the Sawatch Range, but observers said the activity tapered off from Tenmile Canyon (along I-70) westward. Continue reading “Colorado: More avalanches likely in the backcountry”→