Some googling and reading indicated that there is supposed to be some a good skiing to the south and west of Notchtop Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Since spring is around the corner and the big lines might be ready to go in the upcoming weeks, Kelly and I decided to go for a hike and have a look around.
In fact, I wasn’t entirely opposed to skiing at least the lower portion of something. The Avx Fx had recently bumped down to low below treeline and moderate at and above treeline. The gist was that you should be on the lookout for isolated windslabs in the steeps and around complex terrain. We figured we’d go poke around and at the very least we’d get a feel for the approach, if not do some skiing.
We had already started to loose motivation due to the prevalent wind affected snow, when we started to get really good glimpses of Notchtop and the gnarly ravine beyond. We stood around taking photos and trying to enjoy the stiff wind, when Kelly spotted a small avalanche deep in the ravine. That made the decision making pretty easy – no go for now. The schuss out was unremarkable, but the glimpses into some spectacular and exciting terrain for some future mission were well worth the effort!
On the hike back we were some great views of Long’s Peak and the Bear Lake region. We made better time on the way back than we had expected and indulged in a few more photo stops.