Another Dicey Year In The San Juan Backcountry


Welcome to the consistently rotten continental snowpack of Southern Colorado. This photo is part of the uncontrolled Telluride sidecountry known as Upper Bear Creek, which can very easily be legally accessed by a very short walk from the new Revelation Chair, making one the most dangerous places to ride in Colorado easily accessible to every recreational skier and rider looking to maximize their out-of-cubicle time and get Xtreme. Prior to the installation of the Revelation Lift a couple of years ago, you had a steep 20ish minute hike to get to the access gate which deterred the average day-ticket purchaser, so instead of a bunch of unknowledgeable tourists dropping in on top of each other, you mostly had unknowledgeable locals dropping in on top of each other. Countless times I watched hippies without packs make the hike and drop in alone, and Xtreme dudes drag their girlfriends who can’t ski into the mix.

The amount of traffic in Bear Creek has grown to dangerous levels in the last couple of years, but (somewhat) luckily for the powder hounds the general instability of the snowpack since mid-January and recent natural and human triggered activity have slowed the rat-race to the gate a little, allowing some of us to get some good runs with minimal fear of other people dropping in above us.


Closer view of the most recent path and 30 ft. deep debris pile which ran through an area called Nellie Mine. I got wrecked trying to traverse across the bottom of this. The only cool thing about it is that I smashed my face on an ice chunk, broke my goggles (hi there, Cory…), and the resulting scar on my upper lip looks like herpes. Awesome…


Paul Goodman observing the Wedding Chutes and Huck Line


Simon Collins in E-Ticket


Gabe Wright under the San Joaquin

Colorado Avalanche Information Center





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