Over Thanksgiving Kelly, her mom Judy and I took a scenic ride through the Colorado backcountry. We were looking for something off the beaten track that we had never seen before and would worth checking out, even if we didnt get much of a chance to get out of the car. I had heard that there was backcountry skiing in the vicinity of the East Portal and Rollins Pass. A dirt road leads all the way to the tunnel terminus, and then a 4×4 road leads up toward the pass. Skiing and hiking opportunities abound from both the portal and along the road up the pass. November was almost entirely without snow, although a few moderate storms rolled through certain areas. We weren’t really sure how far up the pass we’d get so we planned to just play it by ear, picnic wherever the road ended and then head back after a quick reconnoiter.
Before Winter 14-15 gets into gear (which seemingly won’t be for a while as of this writing) a couple of nagging issues have to be addressed with our adventure mobile. Firstly, the second generation Xterra in it’s factory configuration tends to bottom out when hauling ass over big potholes and rough roads. No fun when riding to or from the mountains exhausted at 10:30 PM. And second, the infamous Thule tried to sabotage my new carbon fiber skis last winter and such behavior wouldn’t be tolerated again!