EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › questions about Wolf Creek/Telluride
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

questions about Wolf Creek/Telluride

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm going to wolf creek on the 6th till the 10th. Since there is no snow in the forcast, I am wondering how long after a storm you can find powder over there. Is there any hidden areas to look for. I don't mind hiking a bit to get some either. Anybody that has some knowledge about wolf creek I would love to hear from. I guess the same goes for telluride, the drive is not too bad so we could make it over there for a day. TIA
post #2 of 17
I don't know which forecast you are reading, but in http://www.snowforecast.com/WolfCreekSkiArea there's snow for Tue-Wed, and most of northern NM and southern CO just got a few inches of snow overnight.

I don't think anyone here will reveal their secret stashes, but it is well known that the trees at Wolf Creek have massive amounts of snow right now, so head to the alberta side of the mountain.
post #3 of 17
I'm not sure exactly how many days it had been (I wasn't there yet), but I think I was there 2 and 3 days after the storm. The first day there were lots of fresh lines in the Alberta trees (thigh-deep in one case) and not so many the second.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies, the alberta section is certainly where we plan to ski. I was wondering if there is backside bowls or trees.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesurf View Post
I don't mind hiking a bit ...
Wolf Creek has good payoff from really easy hiking (nearly a traverse) to get to great beginner steeps (steep but short, ending in a blue trail). A short climb from the non-obvious lift (2nd from right looking uphill - forget which name is which) gets some interesting stuff, too.

Then there is the long climb to the top of Alberta peak. Turns out the side with the long walk is much easier than coming up the other way. (I did the climb in 2002, not this year. At the top, after struggling up through steep, sometimes untracked, in some places chest deep snow, a patroller told us we came up the wrong side.)
post #6 of 17
Your best bet for untracked at Wolf Creek days after a storm is to take the Alberta lift, climb the ridge and go left up the metal stairway, ski all the way to the end of the Knife Ridge and then hike a little. Horseshoe Bowl usually has untracked for several days, just make sure you don't get too far right at the bottom and miss the switchback in the road or you will be looking at a long hike out.
post #7 of 17
mudfoot - I was going to do that, but I got freaked out by the traverse -- a combination of the narrow-ness and not being exactly sure what was coming afterward. I got part way across and turned around and came back. (For some reason, traverses freak me out more than actual skiing).
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
mudfoot - I was going to do that, but I got freaked out by the traverse -- a combination of the narrow-ness and not being exactly sure what was coming afterward. I got part way across and turned around and came back. (For some reason, traverses freak me out more than actual skiing).
They don't call if the "Knife Ridge" for nothing! After you climb the stairs the place where you put your skis on is pretty sketchy, and the first part of the traverse usually has all the snow blown off, but it gets better. If you ski off the end of the ridge until there are trees on your left you can jump in anywhere for the next 1,000 yards and usually find good skiing. It's about a 10 min. hike up to Horseshoe Bowl with good glade skiing on the way and then a huge steep open bowl that is controlled by the patrol. There is even a warming hut at the far end of the top of the Bowl, and good skiing below that. WC has great backcountry type skiing, but it takes some work to get it and the runs are short, but the snow is usually good.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
mudfoot we did just that. we hiked to horseshoe and it was definately worth the hike. Plenty of knee deep powder. Definately a workout w/dealing with altitude issues. We were short of breth a bit so we took the hike slow but it was great. Knife ridge freaked me out as it was slippery and I couldnt get traction w/snowboard boots. There is plenty of powder stashes everywhere. Thanks for all the good advise as it has made our trip much better.
post #10 of 17
blusurf:

Glad to be of service. WC has lots of fun nooks and crannies that I'm still exploring after skiing there for over 20 years. They don't have much vert, but if you look at is as lift assisted backcountry skiing you can focus on the quality over quantity. "Plenty of knee deep powder" is always worth the hike.

Did you make it to Telluride?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
We made it to telluride today. That mountain has some serious terrain. Just about everything is really steep. With that said there were very few powder stashes and it was really hardpack. I can't imagine a nice powder day over there, that must be epic. Conditions were Really close to what we ski/ride at home minus the ice. We had fun but were back to wolf creek tomorrow to do some hiking for our last day. Hopefully they will get a few inches for a little freshen up. Once again thanks for the info as it was invaluable to our day at wolf creek.
post #12 of 17
wolf creek - although it does get snow - is not a great area

It's mostly flat - with a few 300-400 vert areas of stoke.

and it does not hold powder for days aftera storm really - unless things are being controlled

wolf creek - a little whatever, not very good --- and not worth more than a day
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
mudfoot we spent the last day at WC and it was great. There was 3-6" of powder to freshen everything up. We hiked alberta and everything along that ridge. What a last day over there. It may be a small mountain but there is a ton of places to explore. The run from skiiers right of alberta all the way through to waterfall area was great, almost all untracked for a good part of the day. Have you ever stayed in the backcountry yurt? Is that guided? How about silverton, have you been? My cousins have gotten a small taste of hiking to terrain and I think they are hooked so I am looking into some guided backcountry for next year. Silverton sounds great. Thanks again for the info.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesurf View Post
mudfoot we spent the last day at WC and it was great. There was 3-6" of powder to freshen everything up. We hiked alberta and everything along that ridge. What a last day over there. It may be a small mountain but there is a ton of places to explore. The run from skiiers right of alberta all the way through to waterfall area was great, almost all untracked for a good part of the day. Have you ever stayed in the backcountry yurt? Is that guided? How about silverton, have you been? My cousins have gotten a small taste of hiking to terrain and I think they are hooked so I am looking into some guided backcountry for next year. Silverton sounds great. Thanks again for the info.
I spent Sunday at Monarch Mountain, which is like Wolf Creek in that it is a short vertical area at the top of a pass, but it has some fantastic hike to skiing. I would highly recommend it for what you are looking for. They also have reasonably priced cat skiing.

The run you described on the shoulder of Alberta Peak sounds like the Step Bowl, which is one of my favorites. As for the bc yurt, it is just rented out by the night and there are no guides. You ski in with your own sleeping bag, food and water, and they have beds and cooking utensils. You are totally on your own as far as avalanche saftey, and everything else. There are lots of "huts" around the state that operate the same way. I have stayed in a few huts but not that one, although I know about a dozen people who have. Fairly decent ski terrain right around the hut, and the access is pretty easy compared to many others.

I've skied Silverton Mt. 5 times, always during the unguided early and late season. There is no comparison with WC. At Silverton the one lift goes to 12,300 feet and you can hike a 1,000 feet above that. The skiing is steep, but some of the hiking and most of the ski-in access off the ridge is more extreme than the skiing. Hiking and skiing at WC is like a walk in the park compared to the hike-to terrain at Silverton. The guided skiing is pretty expensive and they will make you hike. A good portion of the customers only last a couple of runs. If you go during the unguided (April) you can usually ski off the lift and hike as much or as little as you want. In my opinion, unless you are a true expert in good high altitude condition you may not really enjoy Silverton Mt., but you will undoutedly be blown away by the place.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
that certainly is the info I'm looking for. Monarch cat skiing sounds like fun, do they cover the same terrain as the hike to skiing? What we are looking for is powder (we don't mind working for it), low crowds, off trail skiing/riding. It would be ideal to ride monarch/WC for 2-3 days get acclimated a bit and then try our hand at silverton for a day or two. As far as steepness does it compare to the montezuma bowl or bonanza bowl at WC? What is the pitch of the bonanza bowl roughly? I know they are short just looking for a steepness comparison. And for the hiking, how sketchy does it get? The only thing that gets me is stuff like knife ridge where it was very narrow and somewhat slippery with cliffs on the sides. thanks for all the info, Brad
post #16 of 17
There is a 20 min. hike up a cat track at the top of Monarch that leads to a bowl with tree, glade and open skiing, all of which hits a cat track back to the lifts. The cat skiing terrain is beyond the hike-to area, and off the other side of the ridge. Monarch has very small crowds and like WC gets lots of snow. You can generally find powder for a couple days after a storm, especially if you don't mind skiing some trees. There is also very good and easily accessed backcountry skiing off the highway right next to the ski area.

The top of Montezuma Bowl at WC is a pretty good approximation of a lot of the skiing at Silverton Mt., which is in the 40 degree range. Except for some 5 min. hikes to the front side, all the hiking at SM is up the ridge. Depending on your condition and the snow (or lack thereof) on the ridge, the climb to the top (Billboard at 13,300 feet) takes between 45-70 minutes. The first 1/3 is pretty mellow. There are sections higher up where you are hiking on rock with some exposure, which can be interesting in alpine ski boots. One short section involves a traverse on steep rock with a rope line. IMO the sketchiest part is dropping in to ski off the ridge. Almost all the access points on one side are extremely steep and require climbing over and around rock with your skis on and throwing some moves in some very exposed places. It's not "you fall you die" terrain, but a lot of "you fall you could get seriously messed up." There is certainly plenty of skiing at SM that does not involve this type of manuver, but some of the best skiing definitely requires some nerve and technique.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
nice, sounds good to me. They even have a rope, that helps me out a bit. Once I put the board on I am fine with most situations. It is just hiking slippery stuff w/o crampons or a rope near cliffs that gets me. It's funny in the summer the same situations don't remotely bother me. It's all in my head. Once again thanks for the great info. Hopefully next winter will be as great as this one was and we make it out there.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › questions about Wolf Creek/Telluride