Skiing Red Mountain #3

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Skiing Red Mountain #3
Created On: Feb 21, 2011
Last Edited On: Feb 4, 2013

Overview

Red Mountain Pass is a very popular destination for back country skiing. Map and overview of the places shows really well the locations of some huts and most commonly skied areas.

Trail description: Ski up County Road 14 from the top of Red Mountain Pass, head south on the roadbed - you will see plenty off ski and snowmobile tracks here. After 0.5 miles the road turns east up and climbs up quite steeply (skins recommended) to another road junction at mile 0.9. Here County Road 14 turns right (south) and is well signed to the St. Paul Lodge and Mountain Belle Cabin. Throughout this area you will see some of the many old mine buildings still standing.

Stay On County Road 14 as it climbs up and past St. Paul Lodge and then the Mountain Belle Cabin. The skiing to this point is a very nice outing for intermediate skiers. To continue above treeline, head east in the vicinity of the Mountain Belle Hut onto the west flank of McMillan Peak or northeast towards Red Mountain #3.

I was planning today 2/21/2011 to ski from the Red Mountain #3, but since the avalanche danger was very high - level 4, and it was very windy above the treeline, I turned around at the look out point over Red Mountain #3. It was amazing to watch how the weather deteriorated super fast high up there. Skiing was really enjoyable in between the trees, but high up there I did not see much on the way down. I can't wait to come back when the weather is nice.

Some images from the skiing around Red Mountain #3

Country road 14CR 14
Red Mountain Pass 11,099 ftParking lot
Road 14 higher upCR 14 higher up
mining ruinsOld mining structure
Mining structures everywhereMore old mining buildings
Nice jumpSnowboarder
Soft landingNot a bad landing
CheatingUp on snowmobiles?
Mountain Belle CabinMountain Belle Cabin
Mountain Belle CabinMountain Belle Cabin
On the way upGentle slope up
Trico Peak 13,321 ftTrico Peak 13,321 ft
Time to take the skins offWind blew the snow away
Lookout Cold on the little summit
Communication Device?Communication tower
Red Mountain #3 12,890 ftRed Mountain #3 12,890 ft
Looking down from Look outWay down
Off the windLess wind lower down
Nearly downNice deep snow
Powder skiingNice deep snow

2nd attempt on Red Mountain #3, and this time successful

Red Mountain Pass usually has enough snow, and skiing is good up to the end of May, sometimes even early June. So, I came back to summit Red Mountain #3 on a nice day and during good avalanche forecast. My partners were Michael Covington and my dog Duchess. We took the same approach road, but cut off below the private cabin Casa Milagrosa towards the Red Mountain #3. The weather was great at lower elevation, but really windy near the top. It was easy to find our way up: we just followed tracks! and the Red Mountain #3 is visible as soon as you get above treeline.
Ascent: 1800 feet
Mileage: 4 miles

Images from the 2nd time on Red Mountain #3

Duchess near the trailheadDuchess
Ancient skisAncient skis
Old mining ruinsOld mining ruins
Here it is...View of Red Mnt#3
Duchess following closely Duchess in the close tracks
Rocky sectionRocky section
Final pushFinal push
Highway 550 belowHighway 550
Summit of Red Mountain #3Me and Duchess on top
View to the northView to the north
Descending Red Mountain #3Descent
View to the westView to the west
McMillan Peak - in the backgroundMcMillan Peak
Nice and easy slopeSkiing down
almost downand more skiing

External Links

Fun at Red Mountain Pass
Northern San Juans avalanche information Always check avalanche conditions before venturing out

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Comments

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Viewing: 1-3 of 3
EricChu

EricChu - Feb 23, 2011 4:39 pm - Voted 10/10

Super album, Liba!

Must have been great fun! :-)

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Feb 23, 2011 9:22 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Super album, Liba!

Thanks Eric, it was fun, but also a little bit scary. The avalanche danger was very high, and it was very windy. I was the only person above the tree line.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Feb 28, 2011 6:06 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice outing

thanks, it is one of the best places in Colorado for back country skiing, and offers everything easy to very difficult terrain.

Viewing: 1-3 of 3


Skiing Red Mountain #3

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