What's in this Area?
The south shoulder is one of the more difficult faces of Russell peak, because even though there are more options, there are also a lot more dangers. There are tight couliors, cliffs, and lots of exposure if the snow is not right. Depending upon the conditions, these lines can be completely filled in, or very exposed. They heat up pretty quick due to the sun in the spring, so you want to be careful up there. If you want to ski the south shoulder and you need an escape route, look south to Oatmeal Bowl for other options.[more]
Buckeye Peak is best accessed via the Buckeye Gulch Trailhead on Colorado 91. The climb is a relatively mellow 3 mile skin, with some flat sections close to 11,200'. Once you pass treeline you will see a ridge to the west, which makes a great spot for quick laps, with easy access. If you continue along the trail, (towards the Sangree Froelicher Hut) you will see Buckeye peak to the north. From the summit of Buckeye, ski the bowl that descends down to the east for a really fun, slightly more technical run. There is a lot of terrain up there to choose from, and you also have the choice of heading west towards CO 24 and Ski Cooper Mountain. Reserve a night or two at the 10th mountain hut (Sangree Froelicher Hut) to make a multiple day trip out of this area.
How to Get There
Take CO 91 south from the Copper Mtn exit on I-70. The Buckeye Gulch Trailhead is about 5 miles north of Leadville, CO. Parking for the trailhead is between milemarker 4 and 5, on the north side of the highway, and is denoted with a public parking sign.