We skied this in a storm and it was our first time up there. So I didn't get a good look around. We skied the north east facing aspects just to the southwest of the first large lake in the forest lakes area. We skied mellow terrain but there looked like there was steeper chutes above us towards the ridgeline to our south.
A better area to ski might be if you take a left off the trail towards forest lakes and head towards arapaho lakes, up trail 818 as labeled on the nat geo trails illustrated map (#103 for this area). It appears you gain elevation more quickly and may have more sustained, slightly steeper terrain - which would be an improvement over the aspects described above.[more]
Mt. Hope is a centennial 13er located in the Sawatch mountain range. There are a couple skiing opportunities on this peak. There are 2 main ways to approach Mt. Hope - Willis Gulch on the north and Sheep Gulch on the south
How to Get There
Sheep Gulch TH: From Leadville, drive south on hwy 24 for about 20 miles and turn right (west) on Chaffee County road 390. Take county road 390 for about 9 miles, passing the Missouri Gulch trailhead, to reach the Sheep Gulch TH on the right.
Willis Gulch TH: From Leadville, drive south on hwy 24 and turn right (west) on Independence pass (hwy 82). Drive about 8 miles, passing the small town of Twin Lakes, and turn left (south) onto a dirt road. Follow the dirt road for about 150 yards to the trailhead. Cross the footbridge over Lake Creek to find the trail sign for the Willis Gulch Trail.
Plenty of dispersed camping options exist along country road 390. There are also a few established camp grounds off independence pass a little further up the pass (west) of the Willis Gulch TH.
Leadville to the north. Buena Vista to the south, and if you're really motivated, Aspen to the West
Any 2wd car can get to both trail heads. Independence pass is closed in winter, but the road closure occurs futher up the pass (west) of the Willis gulch TH. County road 390 is open to snowmobiles during the winter.