Winter Lingers

Torreys-spring-snow

Patterns of snow fill every couloir while stoney ridges protrude like ribs on (L to R) Torreys Peak (14,267′), Grays Peak (14,270′), and Grizzly Peak (13,428′). Colorado’s wet spring raised the late winter snowpack on the Front Range from around 50% in April to 300% in some areas. We hope it predicts an amazing wildflower season.

HC-snow

We have so much snow! The south and east facing slopes are holding deep snowpack that supplies all of thirsty Denver’s water supply for the season. This view is to the northwest across Loveland Pass to Mount of The Holy Cross (14,009′) named for the cross couloir on the rock face. Will Denver residents become complacent and forget the recent decade of drought? My brief prediction is an unfortunate yes.

Lvlnd-spring-snow

Loveland Sunrise – warm morning light paints the high ridge above Loveland Pass from Point 12,915′ where a lingering snow cornice leads to Lenawee Mountain (13,204′). Marla says the mountains will “officially open on July 4 ~ just like they always do”. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Winter Lingers

  1. Love the mountain light (apologies to Galen Rowell’s memory).

    I had to chuckle at Marla’s “4th of July” comment. When I first started working in the Yellowstone Ecosystem in the mid 70s, I was always anxious to get out and use my days off backpacking. My boss, who had lived all of his life in West Yellowstone, advised me to “avoid the high passes until the 4th of July”.

    1. There is indeed something extraordinary about the purity of light from 13K at sunrise and Galen would surely agree. I always think we can rush the season, especially when it’s so hot down in Denver; but my wife has a way of keeping me honest in my evaluation.

  2. It was sweet being up that high even though the mountains are “closed”. We’ll be somewhere high on the 4th! Can’t wait!

  3. Beautiful pics as always Sho. We’ve been following the CO weather. One addition to your comment about people getting complacent about drought seasons – people here in SC will gripe about all of the rain and I say, “You could live in CA with my family and be rationing your water.” I’ll take the rain and all the green we have! We can even water our lawn using lake water!

  4. Dave,
    You are so right about water….we here on the front range will have a rude awakening in the not too distant future….I am always amazed that the powers to be do not have the foresight to see how damaging all our development is. Enjoy those peaks!

  5. I love your pictures and your explanation of why and where. Also, when I see all the tall, buildings and new areas being built, it makes us wonder where all these taps will be getting water in the very near future. Keep up your excellent work and pictures. Lots of beautiful places in Colo. to get your message across.
    Lu, EF

    1. What a nice post, Ef! You’re absolutely right and I’m guessing the people in the penthouses of those tall buildings will want more dams. We haven’t learned that much, have we?

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