Welcome to Colorado’s Front Range! The Front Range runs from south central Wyoming to central New Mexico. These are the easternmost mountains in the Rocky Mountains, and are the first to greet visitors traveling to Colorado from the east. The Front Range rises abruptly from just over 5,000 feet west of Denver to peaks over 14,000 feet.
This website describes select ski mountaineering routes located on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. This website currently focuses on the mountains east of the Continental Divide near Denver: Indian Peaks Wilderness, James Peak Wilderness, and the Clear Creek valley. The ski descents are organized in the Indian Peaks, James Peak, and Clear Creek sections. We occasionally delve over the Divide, but for the most part this guide stays north of Summit County and east of the Divide.
This is a “where-to” guide of quality spring and summer ski mountaineering descents located on the Front Range of Colorado. This website only scratches the surface of the ski mountaineering possibilities that are located on this vast range. A lifetime of skiing and snowboarding awaits you, and hopefully this website provides the inspiration for you and your friends to explore the unlimited ski mountaineering possibilities the Front Range offers.
This is not a “how-to” guide on backcountry skiing, avalanche safety, and mountaineering. Snow safety and mountaineering are well documented and the Front Range has numerous service providers that offer this type of education. There are several references for this information on the Resources page of this website.
About the Author
I wish I could tell you that I am a super rad ski mountaineer. Someone who defies the laws of physics and thermodynamics by clinging to mountain faces by the edges of my skis, dropping into steep lines through overhanging cornices, and knocking out 5 to 10 mountains in the morning before work.
I’ve only been skiing for about five years. I am scared out of my wits climbing steep snow, and I can’t stand traversing steep frozen slopes on skins. My knees always hurt and due to leg injuries I spent a four year span without the ability comfortably stand, sleep, sit, and walk.
Only skiing for five years you say? What gives you the qualifications to write a guide to ski mountaineering and backcountry snowboarding on Colorado’s Front Range? Well, there was a time when I was badass. It was before the loss of my knees, and before my near fatal fall on the Grand Teton that took my steep snow climbing wits. I snowboarded for over 25 years, and many of those years were spent scouring the Front Range in the springtime, climbing and riding lines. Post holing, rappelling, snowshoeing, splitboarding… I did it all to be on the mountain.
I’m old and busted, but with the reclaimed use of a portion of my legs I am back in the peaks on two planks. The lines I choose are mellower. Some of the days are longer as I like bigger tours. On this website I have compiled for you information I have discovered through 20 years of snowboarding and skiing on Colorado’s Front Range. Please use this information carefully, and let me know how you use it and how to improve it.
Stay safe, and stretch often.
Ski mountaineering is an inherently dangerous activity. This website, contributors, and host are not responsible for any action you take using the information that is displayed on the web pages of Front Range Ski Mountaineering. You are the responsible party.
The photos, maps, and information available on this site are not accurate. Before you venture into the backcountry you should gather as much information as possible and be prepared to change your plans if you encounter conditions, terrain, and/or situations you are not prepared for. The Resources page on this site includes links to mountaineering and avalanche guides and instructors who can convey information on assessing these risks.
Front Range Ski Mountaineering is released free of charge as a beta software in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.