Powder Project Logo

A gradual approach to the lakes themselves with a more strenuous ridgeline ascent to a number of ski line options.


Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

2.7

Miles

4.3

KM

Ascent

11,638' 3,547 m

High

9,571' 2,917 m

Low

2,150' 655 m

Up

89' 27 m

Down

16%

Avg Slope (9°)

60%

Max Slope (31°)
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Description

From the intersection with the Forest Lakes Approach for Arapaho Lakes, this approach continues gradually uphill to the southwest along the Rogers Pass Trail. We actually missed the right-hand turn for the Crater Lakes Trail itself (shown as a connector), but the trees are spaced with more than enough room to pick your own skin track.

After a couple hundred yards, this track meets back up with the trail and continues north/northwest weaving between a few rocky outcrops as the grade begins to level off.

As the ascent flattens out, the tree cover thins and views of the cirque surrounding the Crater Lakes come into view. This approach continues up the toe of the ridge to the south/southwest of the lakes which features a number of short couloir lines. Due to their steep grades, make sure to scout or take photos from below to ensure you choose the right line as there are cliff sections that could be, at the very least, difficult to negotiate out of.

Generally speaking, the grade of each couloir increases the further up the ridge you go.

At 2.3 miles in, there is a terrific area just below the conical peak of the ridge that provides a great vantage point to take a lunch break or snap a few photos. There are some remnants of old electric poles with pieces of ceramic that may have been used as insulators.

Continue for the final push, circumnavigating the conical peak of the ridge.

After an extremely warm stretch of weeks in early spring, our objective at the end of this approach was dry, but the potential is there as this is a northern aspect with some protection from the wind and the opportunity to connect a number of lines back down to the intersection with Forest Lakes Approach.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#181

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Ascent Rankings

#43

in Colorado

#181

Overall
56 Views Last Month
5,666 Since Mar 28, 2017
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Trudging up the ridge through wet spring snow. Way in the background, on the left side, sits a few of Boulder's foothills; Sanitas, Flagstaff, and Green Mountain.
Mar 28, 2017 near Winter…, CO
Making the final push to the back bowl above Upper Crater Lake. Almost directly on top of the Moffat Tunnel with Rogers Pass and Winter Park across the Continental Divide to the west.
Mar 28, 2017 near Winter…, CO
Peter getting after the drops in good snow.
Jan 11, 2022 near Winter…, CO
A relatively narrow couloir. Ski cut at the top triggered a decent slough slide. The view to the bottom is unobstructed.
Mar 28, 2017 near Winter…, CO
If you can get some speed, there are some really fun drops around!
Jan 11, 2022 near Winter…, CO
Picnic spot looking south to the peaks above Clayton Lake.
Mar 28, 2017 near Winter…, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Dec 9, 2018
Kayleen Castelli
Welcome

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started