After what seems like an eternal Indian Summer, it is winter again in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Our typical mid-October snow provided a short-lived treat and then proceeded to spend the next month rotting under sunny days and cold nights to become our infamous buried layer of facets. However, the last 10 days have been kind, depositing 3+ feet of snow across the zone.
Early last week, when the avalanche danger was high, I spent time touring around Durango Mountain Resort getting my skinning legs back in shape. As conditions stabilized after Thanksgiving, I started venturing out in the backcountry. Snow pits revealed the normal San Juan surprise, 2 to 3 inches of facets on the ground covered with multiple feet of new snow. It appeared that most of the steeps had already run naturally during the most recent storm. The backcountry was very good, especially given that it is not yet December. Hopefully, we will continue to get good snow and build a solid safe base for the upcoming winter. Get out, play and be safe!