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

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

Hill overview as well as 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 Image

The warmer months are definitely Rocky Hill National forest’s high period, yet the wintertime provides an entire brand-new globe for exterior lovers. 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 as well as ski mountaineers to discover several of the state’s most stunning attributes.

Rocky Hill’s backcountry provides acres of landscape unencumbered by groups as well as a much deeper link to nature, yet the backcountry’s privacy additionally develops intrinsic threat. Ski tourers should prepare themselves for a day in the components in straight-out avalanche area. Still, tourers can remain risk-free while additionally accessing impressive surface as long as they inform 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 as well as checking out secret powder stocks in the park for over 20 years as well as provides skiers that education and learning, both personally as well as with his just recently launched publication.


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

“Ski visiting in Rocky Hill National Forest is a wonderful method to relocate with the surface, whether you’re looking for tops, searching for powder transforms, or contemporary for a walk,” Soucy claimed. “The period typically lasts from December to Might, with the late wintertime as well as very early springtime months having the very best snow insurance coverage as well as weather condition to go to most edges of the park.”

Guide additionally draws up Hidden Valley, an old-fashioned ski hotel, where historical runs kept from the 1930s to 1990s puncture the hill. Specialists can research maps of the steepest lines, like Dragontail Couloir, which provides sights of Longs Top to mind-blowing Emerald green Lake.

The light-weight manual is developed to suit a pack, as well as consists of airborne images noted with climb as well as descent signs, private run summaries, incline angles, Avalanche Surface Direct exposure Range rankings as well as unbiased threats, trailhead pens, vehicle parking details, as well as much more.

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

“The Grand Lake Entry provides several alternatives for level, cross-country winter sports, with the steeper surface calling for much longer days to gain access to,” claimed Soucy. “The Estes Park entries provide simpler accessibility to high ski touring as well as ski alpinism surface by means of the Bear Lake or Glacier Chasm trailheads.”

For ski mountaineers, he consists of several of the nation’s most severe surface, such as Longs Top as well as the Lift Shaft in Disorder Canyon.

For Degree 1 skiers, he explains mellower scenic tours to permit them to experience the views, as opposed to a high risks adrenaline thrill. Loss River South, Upper Hidden Valley as well as Lower Hidden Valley all provide terrific winter sports at pitches less than 45 levels. He claimed avalanche threat is additionally reduced, yet not gotten rid of, in Hidden Valley. The eastern face of Flattop Hill is an enjoyable yet modest go through tree glades for backcountry tourers.

Assisted scenic tours

Rocky Hill National Forest is an effective area the much deeper one goes. It provides several of the globe’s steepest, most severe lines, showing tourers exactly how to make it through the components. Its severe weather condition adjustments can additionally evaluate them emotionally as well as literally.

While Soucy’s publication provides comprehensive direction on browsing the park, it’s developed for a person that currently has some expertise of the backcountry terms.

“There’s a great deal to find out, as well as if the atlas as well as maps are puzzling to you, it most likely indicates you must be employing an overview as well as taking much more education and learning,” claimed Andy Sovick, the creator of Sign Guidebooks, in a meeting with Stone Weekly.

Guides can assist tourers remain risk-free while showing them regarding the park’s varied landscape. Soucy is an overview as well as teacher with Colorado Hill Institution, which provides exterior experiences focused around the hills. 

“We supply a complete series of solutions from intro to personalized leading as well as avalanche security education and learning,” he claimed.

Soucy started his leading profession training at Outward Bound Colorado. He is a licensed IFMGA Hill Overview, holds an AIARE Degree 3 Avalanche Certification as well as is a Degree 1 Avalanche Trainer. He’s additionally a Solitary Pitch Trainer with the American Hill Guides Organization. These certifications make Soucy a best specialist for any person thinking about tackling the park’s surface. He makes use of 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 experience in among the nation’s most impressive national forests can inform themselves with Soucy’s manual or the specialist himself. To reserve a directed expedition, check out or e-mail

His manual is offer for sale at 2 Pines Supply in Granby, Icebox Hill Sports in Fraser as well as The Trailhead in Winter Season Park. It’s additionally offered for acquisition at  If viewers like 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 inspect avalanche as well as weather report with the Colorado Avalanche Info Facility, given that the park is at risk to superficial, weak snowpack. The park additionally blog posts upgraded path problems on their internet site,

Soucy as well as others appreciate the uninterrupted landscape. “There is no pet grooming as well as you must anticipate less site visitors as well as a remote feeling to your experience in the Kawuneeche Valley,” Soucy claims of checking out the park throughout the cold weather.
Mike Soucy/Courtesy Image

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