We all gathered at the office today to discuss training dates and refine skills prior to the start of another busy winter season of guiding in the San Juans. The snow has been falling at a steady rate all day, which bodes well for the snowpack up in the mountains. Our first AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course begins on December 18th, and there is sure to be some very relevant snowpack characteristics to view given the current state of things in the mountains. More snow is on the way and it looks as though we’ll receive around 3 feet of snow in the high country from this storm. Hopefully this pattern holds for the rest of the winter. If so, the Backcountry Skiing is going to be incredible this season. Bring it on El Nino!
Several of our guides have been out in the backcountry on many of the areas classic ice climbs, including the Direct North Face of peak 12,579 in S. Mineral Creek and HIghway 666 in Silverton’s Eureka Canyon. Ice conditions are shaping up nicely and the season is in “full swing” in the San Juans. It’s a great time to think about signing up for one of our Ice Climbing Courses or Winter Mountaineering Courses to augment your mountaineering skill set. Stay safe out there and think cold smoke!