Mini AK

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Mini AK

Submitted By: Y.C. on August 19, 2011

Administrator: Y.C.

Views: 959 page views

Featured Descent

Colorado » Front Range

The Bowl

Steep wide open bowl.  The bowl tops out in the 30 degrees so only ski this in times of pretty safe avalanche conditions.  If you go too far to the north there is a MONSTROUS cornice usually there so watch out for that.  You'll ski down to a bench which makes a great island of safety to watch your buddies from (pick your location wisely).  After that there are a few mellow tree shots that you can pick up further to the east that will add into the descent and take you right back to where the road first switchbacks.  Be careful though, even these tree chutes can have pretty high avy danger.

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Details

This area is a steep bowl off the SE face of Knobtop in Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was believed to be first skiied in April 2011, due to perfect conditions and timing.  There are 9 potential routes in the Mini AK cirque.  Some of these lines can go at 60degrees and the easiest goes just above 50 degree angle.  This area has huge avalanche potential combined with mandatory airs and questionable safety zones.

How to Get There

Enter Rocky Mountain National Park from the East side and make a Left towards Bear Lake.  Follow this road until it dead ends at the Bear Lake parking area and Park.  Here one can go two ways to hike to Mini AK.  The route that was taken by the first decent party was to the top of Flattop and then around the Ptarmagin glacier past Notchtop approaching Mini AK from the top.  You can approach from the bottom and climb the ski route or maybe the east ridge of Knobtop could access the top.  This may require some smart winter climbing skills.

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