Competition for powder is intense even at remote resorts in the Southwest of Colorado. In order to provide an untracked, backcountry-esque experience, ski resorts have added more inbounds, hike-to terrain. Because hiking requires a little more work, these inbound stashes can hold some great snow days after a storm. Even though it’s technically inbounds some resorts like Wolf Creek recommend brining AVI gear to access their hikeable terrain, while at Silverton Mountain it’s mandatory. So grab your Orion Pack, ditch the crowds at the lift and head out for the goods.
Wolf Creek Colorado || Hike-To Terrain
Wolf Creek has some of the best powder in Colorado. To get to some of the best lines, you’ll have to hike. Ski patrol recommends carrying avalanche gear and the buddy system on days when the snow is deep and conditions are changing. Wolf Creek can get so much now they have signs warning of suffocation from powder (no joke if you’ve ever fallen in a deep tree well).
Alberta Peak - 25-minute hike provides access to steep, open bowls and chutes. Access from the top of the Treasure Chair or the top of the Alberta Chair. Descend the peak to the right to hit Step Bowl for some wide-open screamers or sneak a bit left for the Peak Chutes and get technical.
Knife Ridge - 15-minute hike brings you to numerous short yet extremely rocky, steep chutes. Head further down the ridge to access the Dog Chutes, if the coverage doesn’t look good and you don’t want to risk a base weld.
Horseshoe Bowl - 45-minute hike over Knife Ridge, past the saddle and up into a remote snow-filled bowl. This is a brutal, long slog in deep snow, but totally worth it! If you’re lucky, the Horseshoe Bowl Snowcat Shuttle is running. This free snowcat ride takes your from the Dog Chutes to the top Horseshoe Bowl. You’ll still have to hike Knife Ridge to the Dog Chutes, again totally worth it.
Remember, just because it’s in bounds, you are still traveling in the backcountry, meaning avalanche prone slopes and other hidden dangers. Anything can happen in the backcountry, so be prepared and know before you go!