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Trip Details

Date Saturday  2/22/2020
End Date
Group Northern Colorado
Event Title Backcountry Ski Tour, Cameron Pass
Start Time 7:30 AM
Status Complete
Leader John Raich
Member Price Free
Available Participants Full- Join Waitlist
Type Trip
Trip Type Ski
Pace Moderate
Classification Moderate III
Trail Mileage 6
Elevation Gain 2000
Driving Distance 120


Meeting place: Parking area near Shell station at the junction of highways 287 and 14 about 10 miles NW of downtown Fort Collins. Please note that this meeting place is where highway 14 leaves highway 287 and enters the Poudre Canyon. Turn off 287 at sign to the Poudre Canyon. Park in the unpaved lot next to highways 287 and 14, do not park in the paved gas station lot.
Map of meeting location:,ftc,2,fid,177200,n,teds%20place.cfm

Departure time: 7:30 a.m. Please plan to arrive about 5 minutes earlier to arrange carpooling.

The FC CMC Group car pool reimbursement rate is 10 cents per mile. For this drive, this works out to $10 rounded off per passenger.

For more info Contact


A backcountry ski tour at Cameron Pass, for descriptions see:, Cameron Pass, Never Summer Mtns.
Maps: Trails Illustrated #112, #200. The suggested route is Nokhu Ridge although a more conservative route is an option, depending on conditions and participant preferences.

The backcountry tour will involve a round trip of about 6 miles with an elevation gain of about 2,000', with a portion on an established track. Be prepared to break trail for part of the route. Ascent will be casually paced with periodic stops for snowpack and terrain assessments. You should be able to ski untracked snow in variable conditions, both above and below treeline, in trees of varying density. Terrain steepness will generally be 30 degrees or less, except for several short, steeper sections. You should be prepared for an outing of 5-6 hours, trailhead to trailhead. Driving to and from the trailhead adds about another 2.5 hours round trip from the meeting location.

Bring AT, tele, or split board gear with climbing skins. A helmet (skiing or climbing) is recommended. Avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, probe) and knowledge of how to use it, is required. Bring lunch, including a drink. Winter clothing, including wind protection, is essential.

Backcountry AT/Tele ratings for this trip (see Notes below):
Fitness - MODERATE
Skill - BLACK - Participants must be at least intermediate to advanced in-area downhill skiers.

Please read the notes on backcountry skiing ratings below to determine if this trip is for you. You can register for this trip online.

NOAA weather forecast:
Front Range forecast:
before you leave for this ski tour.

By signing up on this trip, you agree to allow the trip leader to share your contact information with other participants.



These informal ratings are provided to allow you to judge your fit to the activity.

* Easy
You can climb and descend a backcountry ski tour with total elevation gain of up to 1,200 feet in a half day without getting really tired. You can climb on a good skin track at a rate of 500 feet vertical elevation gain and 1 mile distance each hour, not counting short breaks (something like 10 minutes each hour), and keep this up for 2-3 hours.
* Moderate
You can climb and descend a backcountry ski tour with total elevation gain of up to 2,400 feet; with short rest breaks every hour or so, in a day. You can climb on a good ski track at a rate of 750 feet vertical elevation gain and 1 mile distance each hour, not counting breaks and keep this up for 3-4 hours.
* Strenuous
You can climb and descend a backcountry ski tour with a total elevation gain of 3,000 feet or more in a day. You can climb on a variable ski track at a rate of 1,000 feet vertical elevation gain and 1.5 miles horizontal distance in about 1.5 hours, not counting short breaks, and keep this up for half a day. You can break trail in heavy snow for short periods of time at a slower pace.

Participants must be at least intermediate to advanced in-area skiers. The backcountry is not the place to learn skiing techniques. The most efficient places to learn and improve your ski technique are ski areas with lifts. While backcountry experience will eventually improve your technique there, it is not efficient for learning.
Note that ski area slopes are rated by percentage grade, not slope angle as in the backcountry. Here is comparison:
Ski Area Grade Backcountry Slope Angle
Green in-area: 6-25%, <14 degrees
Blue in-area: 25-40%, 14-21 degrees
Black in-area: >40%, >21 degrees
Note that you'll be expected to ski 30 degree slopes or steeper on many backcountry ski tours. In terms of slope angle, that is equivalent to a black run in a ski area.
* Green backcountry
If you are just barely comfortable on ski area green slopes, you are not ready for most backcountry skiing. You may be able to manage smooth, open backcountry slopes with slope angles less than 14 degrees. To competently ski anything steeper in the backcountry, practice so that you are comfortable skiing area blue and easy black runs under less than perfectly groomed conditions.
* Blue backcountry
You can handle the blue and the easier black runs at ski areas at good speeds with only occasional falls. You can make turns in untracked powder on open, moderately spaced treed, and moderate angle (25 degree) slopes in the backcountry, but difficult conditions such as heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility, dense trees, and steep slopes can all cause problems, though you can cope with them safely at slower speed, although perhaps not elegantly. Frequent falls in the backcountry are exhausting, so you must be able to ski such terrain without frequent falls.
* Black backcountry
You can manage most black diamond runs at ski areas with confidence. Style is not important but control is. You can make linked turns through powder, heavier snow, in forested terrain, on steep (>25 degree) slopes. You can manage complex terrain such as gullies and couloirs. Difficult breakable crust and skiing a fresh track in poor visibility may still be a challenge although you are able to cope.


Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.