Whitewater Blog Archives
After a few weeks of warmer weather and little to no new snow accumulation, Erin and I were trying to figure out where may still give up some good powder turns. Erin came up with the idea to head to Red 3 Summit, and what a great idea it was!
The view from the top of Red 3 is just as fantastic as the ski. This is considered a classic Silverton backcountry ski tour. You begin with a fairly mellow skin up the road base for about an hour, then some boot packing across scree, then the last skin to the final summit elevation of 12,893 ft. Lucky for us the weather was really nice that day on top of the summit. The sunshine was out with some thin wispy clouds. I noted the clouds may almost be thin enough to allow most solar radiation to pass through, however they are thick enough to back radiate a good portion of radiation that should be outbound.
Due to snow conditions being a little thin, we opted for a different line than we had skied previous years. Instead of heading directly off the summit towards the Northwest as we had done in the past, we skied the ridge line North and then dropped into the Champion bowl. Directly below the ridge line made for some challenging turns with rocks hiding just beneath the surface of the snow. Then it opened up to some beautiful turns.
We then found some variable snow. But then got back into some amazing snow that had more of a Springy snow feel to it. With a total ski descent of 2,578 ft and an ascent of only 1,836 ft, no wonder this makes for a Silverton ski classic.
2016 continues to be a great El Nino winter for Southwest Colorado. According to the Snotel Data site, the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River Basins are at 128% of average snow water equivalent as of February 4. One of the tributaries to the Animas River, Cascade Creek, is currently at 140%. This means we are looking forward to a solid river rafting season starting this May.
Don’t delay, book your rafting trip today, use the promo codes to receive early season discounts of 10-15% when you pay in full during checkout.