From Longs Top to Hidden Valley: Overview’s publication breaks down winter sports Rocky Hill National forest’s backcountry

From Longs Peak to Hidden Valley: Guide’s book breaks down skiing Rocky Mountain National Park’s backcountry

Hill overview and also writer Mike Soucy, a little fleck winter sports down Mount Cumulus in Rocky Hill National Forest. In his manual released in Nov. 2022, Soucy information backcountry winter sports Rocky.
Mike Soucy/Courtesy Picture

The warmer months are definitely Rocky Hill National forest’s high period, yet the wintertime supplies an entire brand-new globe for exterior fanatics. Snow coverings the park, from the fields of the Kawuneeche Valley to the craggy top of Longs Peaks. After the snow embeds in, the park’s varied landscape enables both cross-country skiers and also ski mountaineers to check out a few of the state’s most marvelous attributes.

Rocky Hill’s backcountry supplies acres of landscape unencumbered by groups and also a much deeper link to nature, yet the backcountry’s privacy additionally produces fundamental danger. Ski tourers need to prepare themselves for a day in the aspects in straight-out avalanche area. Still, tourers can remain risk-free while additionally accessing impressive surface as long as they enlighten themselves.

Also on novice surface, avalanches are feasible, so specialists recommend taking licensed programs prior to venturing right into the backcountry.

Boulder-based hill overview Mike Soucy has actually been coming down ski lines and also discovering secret powder stocks in the park for over twenty years and also supplies skiers that education and learning, both face to face and also with his lately launched publication.


Soucy channelled his substantial experience with the park right into a portable manual. “Backcountry Winter Sports Rocky Hill National Forest, Colorado,” released in November 2022 by Sign Guidebooks, defines over 60 courses varying from beginning to specialist.

“Ski exploring in Rocky Hill National Forest is a terrific means to relocate with the surface, whether you’re looking for tops, searching for powder transforms, or contemporary for a walk,” Soucy stated. “The period normally lasts from December to Might, with the late wintertime and also very early springtime months having the most effective snow insurance coverage and also weather condition to see most edges of the park.”

Guide additionally draws up Hidden Valley, an old-fashioned ski hotel, where historical runs preserved from the 1930s to 1990s puncture the hill. Professionals can examine maps of the steepest lines, like Dragontail Couloir, which supplies sights of Longs Top to amazing Emerald green Lake.

The light-weight manual is created to suit a pack, and also consists of airborne pictures noted with climb and also descent signs, private run summaries, incline angles, Avalanche Surface Direct exposure Range scores and also unbiased threats, trailhead pens, auto parking details, and also much more.

Soucy covers 15 areas and also 55 runs in the park, from the eastern side to the west side.

“The Grand Lake Entry supplies numerous choices for level, cross-country winter sports, with the steeper surface needing much longer days to accessibility,” stated Soucy. “The Estes Park entries use much easier accessibility to high ski touring and also ski alpinism surface by means of the Bear Lake or Glacier Canyon trailheads.”

For ski mountaineers, he consists of a few of the nation’s most severe surface, such as Longs Top and also the Lift Shaft in Turmoil Canyon.

For Degree 1 skiers, he defines mellower trips to enable them to experience the landscapes, instead of a high risks adrenaline thrill. Autumn River South, Upper Hidden Valley and also Lower Hidden Valley all use terrific winter sports at pitches less than 45 levels. He stated avalanche danger is additionally reduced, yet not removed, in Hidden Valley. The eastern face of Flattop Hill is an enjoyable yet modest go through tree glades for backcountry tourers.

Directed trips

Rocky Hill National Forest is an effective area the much deeper one goes. It supplies a few of the globe’s steepest, most severe lines, educating tourers exactly how to endure the aspects. Its severe weather condition modifications can additionally check them psychologically and also literally.

While Soucy’s publication supplies thorough guideline on browsing the park, it’s created for somebody that currently has some expertise of the backcountry terms.

“There’s a great deal to find out, and also if the atlas and also maps are perplexing to you, it most likely implies you need to be working with an overview and also taking much more education and learning,” stated Andy Sovick, the creator of Sign Guidebooks, in a meeting with Stone Weekly.

Guides can aid tourers remain risk-free while educating them regarding the park’s varied landscape. Soucy is an overview and also trainer with Colorado Hill Institution, which supplies exterior experiences focused around the hills. 

“We offer a complete series of solutions from intro to customized directing and also avalanche security education and learning,” he stated.

Soucy started his directing occupation mentor at Outward Bound Colorado. He is a qualified IFMGA Hill Overview, holds an AIARE Degree 3 Avalanche Certification and also is a Degree 1 Avalanche Teacher. He’s additionally a Solitary Pitch Teacher with the American Hill Guides Organization. These certifications make Soucy a best specialist for anybody curious about tackling the park’s surface. He utilizes the park as a training school to prepare his trainees for journeys to the Alaska Variety, Canadian Mountain Ranges or European Alps.

Those all set for a backcountry journey in among the nation’s most impressive national forests can enlighten themselves with Soucy’s manual or the specialist himself. To schedule an assisted expedition, see or e-mail

His manual is up for sale at 2 Pines Supply in Granby, Icebox Hill Sports in Fraser and also The Trailhead in Winter Months Park. It’s additionally offered for acquisition at  If visitors favor an electronic variation of Soucy’s publication, they can additionally download and install the Sign Guidebooks application. Water-proof paper maps of Rocky Hill National are additionally offered with Sign.

Soucy additionally suggests tourers examine avalanche and also weather report with the Colorado Avalanche Details Facility, because the park is prone to superficial, weak snowpack. The park additionally articles upgraded route problems on their web site,

Soucy and also others take pleasure in the uninterrupted landscape. “There is no pet grooming and also you need to anticipate less site visitors and also a remote feeling to your journey in the Kawuneeche Valley,” Soucy claims of discovering the park throughout the cold weather.
Mike Soucy/Courtesy Picture

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