We sent the Front Range Ski Mountaineering R&D team into the hills this week to explore a unique corner of the Southern Front Range. All conditions were a “Go” including a solid overnight freeze, clear skies, a dry road to the trailhead, and a manageable battle through the May punch at the bottom. The May punch is the shallow snow between 10,500’ and 11,500’ feet that is frozen solid in the morning and slushy during the exit. It is too spotty to ski or skin on the descent. You just gotta punch through it until the exit onto a trail, road, or dry forest bed.
Whale Peak and Bullion Benchmark are two high peaks that provide a great view to preview conditions in the Ten Mile Range, Southern Front Range, Montezuma, Chihuahua Gulch, and the west side of the Mount Evans Wilderness. Below is a series of photos taken from Bullion Benchmark and Wale Peak. A shot of the west side of the Mount Evans Wilderness is not included because there is really nothing to note as the west side of the peaks are almost totally void of snow.