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Trip Details

Date Saturday  6/29/2019
End Date Sunday  6/30/2019
Group Fort Collins
Event Title Mt Sopris, 12,953' Snow Climb Possible Ski Descent
Start Time 9:00 AM
Status Canceled
Leader John Raich
Co-Leader Steve Dielman
Member Price Free
Available Participants 3
Type Trip
Trip Type Ski
Pace Moderate
Classification Moderate III
Trail Mileage 12
Elevation Gain 4600
Driving Distance 320


Meeting time: 9 a.m.
Meeting location: TBA

For more info Contact

John Raich,


Mt Sopris provides an early season snow climb that can be combined with a ski descent. We plan to do this climb as a 2-day trip with a backcountry camp near Thomas Lakes. The climbing and descent route is the Thomas Lakes Bowl. The length of the approach will depend on the extent of the spring and early summer melt-off. Hence, we will need to review plans and adjust them, depending on the remaining snowpack. It is likely that backcountry skis or snowshoes will be needed for the approach.

Drive to the Thomas Lakes TH. Leader will provide driving directions prior to the trip dates. The winter closure is at a switchback below Prince Creek Divide. During spring snow season, the road may be open another 0.5 mi to the Prince Creek Divide (8,110'). For the late spring/summer trailhead: At Prince Creek Divide, take a left (S) on Dinkle Lake Rd (FS Road 6A) and follow Dinkle Lake Rd 2.1 mi to another divide, the Dinkle Lake Divide (8,640').

Approach to Thomas Lakes
The description applies with significant snow cover. Later in the season, a trail is easier to follow. From the Prince Creek Divide (8,110'), follow the (snowcovered?) Dinkle Lake Rd S, then E, to Dinkle Lake Divide (summer TH).
Look for the FS trailhead signs a few hundred feet S of the road. The trail startsup an obvious cut behind these signs.
Follow the old roadcut as it makes a long climbing traverse W, the switchbacks and climbs E to pass around a shoulder at 9,200'. Stick with the obvious roadcut for a few hundred yards. When the roadcut swings E (left), leave the roads and climb 1/8 mi directly up the shoulderat an open area. The little detour avoids taking the roadcut around a long and inefficient traverse. Once you've arrived on the shelf (9,580'), you must locate the trail-cut through the aspen forest.
Once you find the trail, follow it through aspen and conifer to another open area at 10,000'. Two routes work for the remainder of the approach:
(1) Continue up a small gulchto the vicinity of the lower (northern) lake (10,200').
(2) Swing S and climb through timer to the upper (southern) lake (10,260').
Be careful to select a camp site not exposed to avalanches or weather.

Climb, Thomas Lakes Bowl, Moderate Snow, 35 degrees
From the W side of the upper (southern) lake, head up the left (S) side of an obvious bowl. At 11,100', trend to the right (N) and climb a final wide couloir to a major saddle (12,300') that separates the lower E subsidiary summit from the main E summit. Take the wide ridge 1/2 mi NW to the E main summit. Avoid the cornices. The W main summit has equal elevation and is reached via a snow ridge.

Descend the ascent route or drop into the bowl from a point a few hundred yards dow the ridge from the E summit.

Map: USGS Mount Sopris

Recommended gear:
Backcountry ski gear is recommended for the approach and the peak climb.
Mountaineering gear (Helmet, ice ax, boots, boot crampons, possibly ski crampons)
2 pairs of gloves, headgear, wind protection
Mountain hiking clothing appropriate for the season, altitude, weather.
Include rain gear.
Backcountry camping gear, including tent, sleeping bag, pad, cooking/eating gear, stove, fuel.
Skiers should have prior backcountry skiing experience.


When you register for this trip you may be placed on a wait list. Alpine Scrambling Course students have priority on this field trip. Hence, non-ASC members are moved to a wait list and ASC students to the participant list after they register. ASC students should register at least 6 days prior to the trip date. This will allow trip leaders sufficient time to communicate with students regarding trip plans. it would also allow time for trip leaders to notify non-ASC members if the is space on the trip.


Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.