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Trip Details

Date Thursday  6/3/2021
End Date
Group Northern Colorado
Event Title Sundance Ski Descent
Start Time 8:00 AM
Status Complete
Leader John Raich
Member Price Free
Available Participants 1
Type Trip
Trip Type Ski
Pace Casual
Classification Moderate III
Trail Mileage 2
Elevation Gain 2000
Driving Distance 100

Location

Rocky Mountain National Park
Meeting time: 8 a.m.
Meeting location: Beaver Meadows Visitor Center parking lot, RMNP
A RMNP timed entry permit is not required, a park pass is required.


For more info Contact

John Raich, john.raich@colostate.edu

Details

The Sundance ski descent is a popular, easy access RMNP spring ski outing after Trail Ridge Road opens, usually around Memorial Day.

From a parking area on Trail Ridge Road a bit more than a mile west of the Forest Canyon Overlook, walk or ski north to the Toll Memorial rocks. You can also get there by parking at the Rock Cut and taking a trail NE. Start down a broad, low angle (15 degrees) snow field with few, if any, obstacles. More serious skiing starts about 300' down as the slope begins to roll over and gets increasingly steeper. Over the next 2,000', the slope transitions from a relaxed 20 degrees to a more serious, consistent grade of 45 degrees, with a few patches of 50 degrees. There are possible obstacles at the bottom of this ski run so it is important to ski under control if you decide to ski all the way down.

You have the option of stopping whenever the slope angle gets too steep for you or snow conditions are not as stable as you would like. Do not ski lower than your capability and comfort zone. Stopping earlier makes for a shorter return. To return to your car at Trail Ridge Road, boot up the steeper lower portions of the slope and skin up the less steep upper portions. Some may find an ice ax and possibly crampons helpful for the ascent under certain conditions - check with the trip leader prior to the trip.

Depending on participant interest, a possible option for experienced skiers might be to ski one of the NE Sundance Couloirs, a more challenging and serious descent route in the same area. Those couloirs face east, so may require an earlier start. Ice ax, crampons, and maybe a rope would be needed for this. If you have an interest in this option, please let the trip leader know prior to the trip. For more details on this option: Backcountry Skiing and Ski Mountaineering in Rocky Mountain National Park, by Mark Kelly.
Map: Trails Illustrated #200

What to bring:
AT, tele skis or spitboard and appropriate boots, poles,
Climbing skins,
Downhill ski gear will work, but you need to be prepared to boot back up in downhill boots.
Winter clothing including wind, sun protection,
Day pack with extra clothing, food, drink,
Helmet is recommended,
Ice ax, boot crampons may be an option for some - check with the leader ahead of time.


Notes

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

We'll follow CMC Covid-19 protocols: https://www.cmc.org/COVID-19andCMCProgramming.aspx. Carpooling is allowed for fully vaccinated members.



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