Peak:  Apache Peak (13er)
 Route:  Isabelle Glacier
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  jakethesnake_630
 Date of Info:  01/31/2021
 Date Posted:  02/02/2021

Just a general update on the Indian Peaks wilderness area.. with some pictures if helpful.

I backcountry skied around Lake Isabelle & Pawnee Pass this weekend.

CMC Ski trail from the Brainard Winter lot is in great conditions, skiable both ways. The Brainard road is about half melted out but skiable if connecting from CMC to the Summer THs.

From the summer THs (Long Lake in this case), the trench is only about half in .. there's a ton of powder snow up there & the snowshoes are not quite packing it down enough.. but obviously was not an issue with the skis.

After the Pawnee Pass trail junction there's no trail whatsoever up to Pawnee Pass - just 4-5 feet of powder you get to wallow through to find some turns.

If you're heading to Apache/lake Isabelle area, it's pretty well wind blown at and above the lake, making travel much more easy in this general area. There are about 50 snowfields and couloirs that are in now. I spent Sunday hiking/booting up & skiing some of the snowfields circling lake Isabelle. I was too gassed to try to get up into the Apache or Navajo Snowfields, but these are also very much in.

Of course this could all be useless after this week's high temps.. but we'll see.

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1#2#3) Looking into the Pawnee Cirque ... tons of powder staches#4) tracks across Lake Isabelle#5#6) snowfields on the north side of Lake Isabelle#7) transitions...#8) Looking down from one of the snowfields surrounding Lake Isabelle#9) Looking back at the last line of the day#10) Sking Lake Isabelle

Comments or Questions
Beautiful report
02/02/2021 17:51
Cool. That sure is a beautiful area. Wonderful photographs.

Beautiful Report
02/03/2021 10:16
Thanks ItlFish99 - it's so nice up there, I just wish the winter approaches weren't so long. By the time I get to any climbing I'm basically exhausted. Appreciate the feedback!

Spring skiing
02/04/2021 21:36
Queensway on Apache is a nice spring ski, stays in pretty late in the season. Probably shorter approach then as well.

Spring Skiing
02/05/2021 11:34
Thanks SnowAlien.. I actually did the Queens Way over the summer, it was drastically easier then lol. The snow up in that couloir right now is primo though. Just have to plan the day better to give myself enough time. Long slog.

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