Trip Reports: Spring Riding 2007

Instead of making separate trip reports for each spring backcountry hike and ski/snowboard trip that my friends and I do, I thought I'd just make a page with some of my favorite pictures from various hikes this spring in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Snow conditions have been a bit peculiar in the San Juans this spring. A long dry spell in early April seemed to forecast an early spring season, but in April and May, we had almost weekly foot+ snowfalls. These dumps provided some great late-season powder and also really helped to preserve the snowpack. Unfortunately several of the last big dumps in May just sluffed right off the steep slopes, leaving piles of chunder than rendered many of the steeper couloirs unrideable. Though some good steep and smooth lines still remain, the best snow conditions have generally been found on long, lower-angled slopes.
Teakettle Mountain, photo

Ema Summit

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Teakettle Mountain at far left. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Potosi Peak, skiing, photo

Skiing Ema

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Potosi Peak towers in the background. Skier: Jeff Skoloda. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

spring skiing, Sneffels Range, Colorado, photo

Spring Skiing

Sneffels Range, Colorado

Skier: Jeff Skoloda. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

South Lookout Peak, hiking, couloir, photo

Hiking South Lookout Peak

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Hiking towards South Lookout Peak. We hiked and rode down the couloir of the prominent notch of the peak. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Ophir Pass, peak, photo

Peak near Ophir Pass

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

a beautiful unnamed peak near Ophir Pass. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

South Lookout Peak, Jason King, photo

South Lookout Ride

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Riding down South Lookout Peak - May. Rider: Jason King. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Blue Lakes Pass, Mt. Sneffels, Dallas Peak, Colorado, photo

Blue Lakes Pass

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Hiking up the west side of Blue Lakes Pass on the shoulder of Mt. Sneffels - May. Dallas Peak is in the background. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Snowboarding, Blue Lakes Pass, San Juans, Colorado, photo

Riding Blue Lakes Pass

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Snowboarding down the steep and smooth western slope of Blue Lakes Pass - May. Rider: Parker McAbery. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Hiking, Mt. Sneffels, Colorado, photo

Hiking to Ride

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Hiking the East Dallas Drainage with Mt. Sneffels towering in the background - May. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Snowboarding, Sneffels Range, Colorado, photo

Riding S5

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Snowboarding down "S5", 13,380 feet, in the Sneffels Range - May. Rider: Parker McAbery. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

relaxing, photo

Relaxin

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Relaxing in my custom-made, ultra-ergonomic snow lounger. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

ridgeline, ski, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, photo

Ema's Ridge

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Hiking a ridgeline high above Yankee Boy Basin, about to ski down - June. Gilpin Peak on the left, and Mt. Sneffels in the distance. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Snowboarding, Yankee Boy Basin, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, photo

Riding Ema's

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Snowboarding down into Yankee Boy Basin - June. Rider: Jack Brauer. Photo by Jason Greer. Photo © copyright by Jack Brauer.

Check out the photo reports page to see more pictures from other spring descents.