Photo Journal – Capitol Creek Ski Tour

North Facing Meadows below Haystack on skin up to Capitol Creek TH

A few weeks ago with the sketchy snowpack in the roaring fork valley not offering much in the way of skiing traditional mid winter lines, I decided to explore a new area that I had been to several times in the summer but never in the winter.   The capitol creek trail has little information as to winter access and where the road is plowed to so this was really a stab in the dark.   Heading out mid morning in preparation to get a good few hour tour in before the Superbowl we set out.   Surprisingly the road is plowed up quite high and you can use one of several plowed ditch culverts to park.   The highest plowed area lies about 1 mile down from the normal 4WD parking for the summer ditch trailhead.   We skinned up the road grade through the north facing aspen trees to the summer parking and enjoyed the beautiful views of Daly and Capitol.   From here you can either follow the summer ditch trail or continue up the road to the ridge-top.

Capitol From Ditch Trail

Following the ditch trail we skinned on the flat grade until the steeper north east facing meadows.   From here we wrapped around the backside of the steeper pitches and took to a safer skin trail up through the dense timber.   On a normal winter this area would offer great steep and deep lines with about 1000+ vertical per lap.   Wrapping around out of the woods onto the ridge we ascended to a highpoint with great views of Sopris, Daly, Haystack, and Capitol.   Due to snow conditions we descended through some low angle open meadows to the dense forest and back out in some aspen glades down to the ditch trail.   Not the most ideal skiing but that has been hard to find this year and the views made up for the lack of deep turns.

 

 

 

 

North facing medows and pitches from summer TH parking

Ditch Trail - Not much snow on Southern aspects

West face pictchs off of Haystack - from ridgeline with views of Haystack, Sopris, Daly, CapitolDaly from North Medows near ridgeline

Additional North facing shots from Ridgeline

Madeline with Capitol peak in background and medows we ascended to far right

 

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Winter Avalanche Course Schedule – AIARE Level 1

Dec. 6-8, 2013
Dec.* 9-11, 2013
Dec. 13-14, 2013
Jan. 3-4, 2014
Jan.* 6-8, 2014
Jan. 10-12, 2014
Jan.* 27-29, 2014
Jan. 31-Feb 2, 2014
Feb.* 3-5, 2014
Feb. 28- Mar. 2, 2014
Mar.* 10-12, 2014
Mar. 21-23, 2014
Mar.* 31- Apr. 2, 2014
Apr. 3-5, 2014

AIARE Level 2

Dec. 12-15, 2013
Jan. 9-12, 2014
Feb.* 3-6, 2014
Apr.* 1-4, 2014

*weekday courses