Long Ski Tours in Colorado.

One reason I like Summit County is that the population density keeps the trails broken out, at least for a little distance from the trailheads. Here are some of my favorite long ski tours. Mostly I use light, double-camber, metal-edged skis, though sometimes heavier gear is appropriate.

The Hornsilver Loop: Vail Pass to Wilder Gulch to Ptarmigan Pass and Peak, down to Fowler-Hilliard Hut, through Resolution Narrows to Hornsilver summit, then down on the McAllister Rd (not the McAllister Trail) to Wearyman Creek. Then up Wearyman to Wilder (alternative, back up Turkey Ck. to Shrine Pass and Vail Pass) and back or, Katie's Variation: turn left and climb to Wingle Ridge using the marked route to Shrine Mountain Inn and pass through Shrine Saddle and down to the parking area. 16 or 20 miles. Wonderful loop. I have done it many times.

Henderson Mill to Darling Creek and down to Sugarloaf Campground with Katie Larson and Byron Lemay. Monster car shuttle.

Ute to Ptarmigan. I have done this from Acorn Creek to the ridge and S to Ptarmigan TH in Silverthorne, and also from the trailhead north just past Ute Peak summit and all the way to Ute Pass.

Dumont Lake at East Rabbit Ears Pass to Mt Werner summit and down Steamboat Ski area, with Jonathan Kriegel (Dec 27, 2014).

Crested Butte to Aspen (twice in the race, with Phil Williams, and Warren Ohlrich; 2000 and 2002).

Sylvan Lake loop to Estin Hut (with Phil WIlliams and Warren Ohlrich)

Yeoman Park to Estin Hut and back (with Jonathan)

Lake Creek (Edwards) to Polar Star Hut and back (with Jonathan)

Turquoise Lake to Skinner Hut and back, once on skate skis all the way (three times: Dave Blakeslee, Katie Larson, Jonathan Kriegel). The tour to Uncle Bud’s Hut in the same area is much shorter.

East Rabbit Ears Pass to S end of Red Dirt Rd (twice; solo, and with Dave, Janet, and Jonathan)

Keyser Ck. trailhead to Cottonwood Pass naer Hot Sulphur Springs, with Katie.

Rain Peak summit from WIllowbrook; 4000 feet from summit back to car (twice: Jonathan; Katie; we kept skis on to true summit).

Buffalo Mountain circumnavigation through Eccles Pass: Meadow Creek Th to Ryan Gulch TH. Some avalanche awareness needed: the ascent to Eccles from the west is steep but short. Large avalanches come off the S slopes of Red from time to time. I have always done this clockwise.

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