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Trip Details

Date Saturday  12/16/2017
End Date
Group Fort Collins
Event Title Backcountry Ski Tour, Cameron Pass
Start Time 8:00 AM
Status Canceled
Leader John Raich
Member Price Free
Available Participants No tickets left
Type Trip
Trip Type Ski
Pace Moderate
Classification Moderate II
Trail Mileage 6
Elevation Gain 2000
Driving Distance

Location

TRIP CANCELLED - MARGINAL SNOWPACK

Cameron Pass

Meeting place: Parking area near Shell station at the junction of highways 287 and 14 about 10 miles NW of downtown Fort Collins. Please note that this meeting place is where highway 14 leaves highway 287 and enters the Poudre Canyon. Turn off 287 at sign to the Poudre Canyon.

Departure time: 8:00 a.m. Please plan to arrive about 5 minutes earlier to arrange carpooling.

The FC CMC Group car pool reimbursement rate is 10 cents per mile. For this drive, this works out to $10 rounded off per passenger.


For more info Contact

John Raich, john.raich@colostate.edu

Details

Route choice will be limited by snowpack and avalanche conditions. For early season ski tours, we usually select shorter routes, mostly below treeline, on the east side of the pass. The early season snowpack usually means a relatively thin snow cover, obstacles such as downed trees, bare areas, rocks. Careful skiing at slower speeds is usually required to avoid such obstacles.

For an overview of avalanche rescue:
https://backcountryaccess.com/features/bca-companion-rescue-series/

For an overview of the range of backcountry ski routes in the Cameron Pass area:
www.frontrangeskimo.com/cameron-pass-north/
www.frontrangeskimo.com/cameron-pass-seven-utes/
www.frontrangeskimo.com/nokhu-crags/
Be aware that much of the terrain described above is avalanche terrain and that many of the routes are advised only under low avalanche risk conditions.

The backcountry tour will involve a round trip of up to 6 miles with an elevation gain of up to 2,000', usually with a portion on an established track. Be prepared to break trail for part of the route. Ascent will be moderately paced with periodic short stops. You should be prepared to ski untracked snow in variable conditions, both above and below treeline, in trees of varying density. Terrain steepness will generally be 30 degrees or less, except for short, steeper sections. You should be prepared for an outing of 5-6 hours, trailhead to trailhead. Driving to and from the trailhead adds about another 2.5 hours from the meeting location.

On an established track, members of the group can ascend at a pace that is comfortable for them, as long as the fastest in the group never gets too far ahead of the slowest. When setting a new track, the group needs to stay together to communicate on route choices. It is essential for safety reasons to ski with the group in a way to maintain visual or hearing contact during all ski descents. You need to keep the leader or the leader's ski tracks in sight at all times. We will use a buddy system where you stay in close contact with another skier.

Bring AT, tele, or split board gear with climbing skins. A helmet (skiing or climbing) is recommended. Avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, probe) and knowledge of how to use it, is required. Bring lunch, including a drink. Winter clothing, including wind protection, is essential.

Backcountry AT/Tele ratings for this trip (see Notes below):
Fitness - MODERATE
Skill - BLUE
Avalanche training - LEVEL 1 AVALANCHE COURSE AND GEAR REQUIRED

Please read the trip description and the notes on backcountry skiing ratings below to determine if this trip is for you. This is a 'register with leader' trip.

Check:
NOAA weather forecast: http://www.weather.gov/bou/
CAIC avalanche forecast: http://avalanche.state.co.us/
Front Range forecast: http://avalanche.state.co.us/forecasts/backcountry-avalanche/front-range/
before you leave for this ski tour.

By signing up for this trip, participants agree to allow the trip leader to share contact information with other participants.


Notes

BACKCOUNTRY AT/TELE SKIING RATINGS

These informal ratings are provided to allow you to judge your fit to the activity.

FITNESS CATEGORIES
* Easy
You can climb and descend a backcountry ski tour with total elevation gain of up to 1,200 feet in a half day without getting really tired. You can climb on a good skin track at a rate of 500 feet vertical elevation gain and 1 mile distance, each hour, not counting short breaks (something like 10 minutes each hour or 5 minutes each half hour), and keep this up for 2-3 hours.
* Moderate
You can climb and descend a backcountry ski tour with total elevation gain of up to 2,400', with short rest breaks every hour or so, in a day. You can climb on a good ski track at a rate of 750 feet vertical elevation gain and 1 mile distance each hour, not counting breaks and keep this up for 3-4 hours.
* Strenuous
You can climb and descend a backcountry ski tour with a total elevation gain of 3,000 feet or more in a day. You can climb on a variable ski track at a rate of 1,000 feet vertical elevation gain and 1.5 miles horizontal distance in about 1.5 hours, not counting short breaks, and keep this up for half a day. You can break trail in heavy snow for short periods of time at a slower pace.

SKILL CATEGORIES
* Green
You are able to ski proficiently on groomed beginner 'green' runs at downhill areas. You can get down groomed 'blue' runs but 'black' runs are a survival zone. You can make solid stem turns and traverse via kick-turns off-trail on untracked snow slopes. You are able to distinguish easy terrain from more difficult terrain that a novice can't handle. You are still learning to ski untracked snow.
* Blue
You handle the 'blue' and the easier 'black' runs at ski areas at good speeds. You can make turns in untracked powder on fairly open and moderate angle slopes in the backcountry, but difficult conditions such as heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility, dense trees, and steep slopes can all cause problems, though you can cope with them safely at slower speed, although perhaps not elegantly.
* Black
You can manage most 'black diamond' runs at ski areas with confidence. Style is not important but control is. You can make linked turns through powder, heavier snow, in forested terrain, on steep slopes greater than 25 degrees. You can manage complex terrain such as gullies and couloirs. Difficult breakable crust and skiing a fresh track in poor visibility may still be a challenge although you are able to cope.
* Ski mountaineering
You have considerable experience with backcountry travel planning and route finding. You have basic mountaineering training, including climbing steep snow, ice axe use, and, if indicated by the trip leader, basic rope management skills. Other specialized gear such as ski crampons, boot crampons, and ice ax may be required on ski mountaineering tours, especially later during the season.

AVALANCHE TRAINING CATEGORIES
* No avalanche training or gear required
* Level 1 avalanche course recommended
Completion of a level 1 avalanche course and avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, probe) are strongly recommended.
* Level 1 avalanche course required
Completion of a level 1 avalanche course and avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, probe) are required.