Independence Pass

Submitted By: Dobish on May 26, 2011

Administrator: Dobish

Views: 2381 page views

Featured Descent

Colorado » Front Range

The Knuckles

The descent for the Knuckles is extremely dangerous.  Do not go there unless you have experience with rocky terrain, steep runs, and variable snowpacks.  This part of Berthoud is prone to avalnaches and slides due to a rocky bed surface, limited anchors, and the solar activity that this area gets.  The entrance is not visible until you are right on top of the roll over, and very often people end up in the wrong spot.  The knuckles are defined by the steep rollover, above rocky chutes.  There is very little distance between treeline and the start of the rocky area.  Use caution coming out of tree line, and make sure to test the slope for stability.  If the snow slides, you will be dragged over sharp rocks and down a chute, into trees.  Alternative Routes are down the shoulder to the NW or to the South down High Tail Trees or Shop Chutes.  Exits for this descent are either the first turn off, or down the valley further to 7 mile.

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Details

Independence Pass (Indy Pass to some locals) offers a huge variety of opportunities for a wide range of backcountry skiers because of the terrain options, as well as the countless opportunities for hiking.  The road (highway 82) crests Independence Pass, making it perfect for backcountry skiing with relatively easy access to start out.

How to Get There

Independence Pass Road (Highway 82), can be reached via the town of Aspen (it is 20 miles east of Aspen) or via the East, from Leadville/Highway 24.  There are large signs marking Independence Pass Highway, but please be advised that this road is closed in the winter because of the massive amounts of snow.

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