St. Mary’s Glacier
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St. Mary’s Glacier
Submitted By: Dobish on April 23, 2010
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|- Skin Track:||Moderate|
|Starting Elevation:||10400 ft.|
|Elevation Gain:||900 ft.|
|High Point:||11350 ft.|
|Max Slope Angle:||36°|
Take I-70 West to Fall river road (Exit #238). Drive 8.6 miles to the parking turnout on the left. There is a $5 fee for parking in the lot, since it is private property. Just before the parking lot, there is a road with a sign that shows directions to the glacier hike. Park in the parking lot and backtrack to this road, then head up. There are a couple of trails up here, but they all lead up to the lake. Take the trail on the east side of the lake. Just past the lake, you will see the glacier heading due west.
No special equipment is needed for this area. Avy gear is recommended. This is a common area for snowshoers, hikers, skiers and snowboarders. This area holds snow all year long, so it is a good spot for late spring and summer descents.
The descent is a mellow run that ranges between 20º and 34º. There is a headwall on skiers right, which will put you in the glacial lake, and is prone to avalanches. Be careful of this in with new snow, as the under layers are pretty firm and often icy. Skier's left is a much more mellow line, that ends at a pile of rocks, where often people will leave lunches and whatnot. In winter and spring you can ski back down the road and end up back at the car.
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Added on 10/23/2012 by LSteele
The skiing at St. Mary's is hit or miss (more often miss), when compared to other descents in and around the front range. However, St Mary's provides a great opportunity for early and late season skiing because of its ability to hold snow year round, and its easy accessibility make it a great place to introduce newcomers to the backcountry or to test your legs and new gear in the early season. I know I will be up there scraping together some turns this early-season.
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