Independence Pass - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-17-2009   #1
Kjirsten
 
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Independence Pass

Forbes Traveler calls the pass from Aspen to Leadville the 3rd "scariest road in America." I guess they've never been on Red Mountain in the Winter! Oh well- it's cool for Colorado:

America's Scariest Drives - ForbesTraveler.com

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Old 04-17-2009   #2
 
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187 miles? A short detour through Canon City? What idiot wrote this piece?
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Old 04-19-2009   #3
 
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Red Mountain Pass gets my vote.

Driven over it in fall (on the way to Jemez Pueblo for the Harvest Festival) when the wind and the sleet/snow bullets reduced visibility to about fifty feet, and then a gap would open up and you were looking into the abyss. With the car skating around on the road, tires spinning.

Existential fun.

Also in spring when big slop slab wet avalanches are hanging in dozens on the slopes above.

Sort of like playing dice with the gods, who are bigger and tougher and weirder than us.
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Old 04-19-2009   #4
 
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[QUOTE=Chip;137403]Red Mountain Pass gets my vote.
I second that. No guardrails for winter plowing and huge distances down to the creek. On the other hand, Independence pass is not open over the winter, so its like comparing apples and oranges.
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Old 04-19-2009   #5
 
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I have a very vivid recollection of heading over Red Mountain in February (at night, in a blizzard) to make it to Orvis Hot Springs for some good nekkid soaking and a killer massage followed by a good night's rest in one of their few rooms. Of course, first there was the pass.

It would have been the opening scene from "Fargo" except that it was Red Fucking Mountain Pass. Total whiteout and, uh, no guardrail. And, uh, the death drop to Red Mtn Creek. I was torn between sanity and the urge to try to keep up with the poor bastard ahead of me who was blazing the trail. You know the deal, follow the red tail lights and hope they don't go off the cliff. Well, it was white knuckles all the way to Ouray. The pipe didn't get lit once between Silverton and Ouray, but once we looped down the last hairpin, it got fired up. Happily.
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Old 04-20-2009   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TakemetotheRiver View Post
Forbes Traveler calls the pass from Aspen to Leadville the 3rd "scariest road in America." I guess they've never been on Red Mountain in the Winter! Oh well- it's cool for Colorado:

America's Scariest Drives - ForbesTraveler.com
I emailed the author and told him just that- "you've obviously never been over Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton", and told him Indy shouldn't even count because its closed half the year!

138 named avalanche chutes in 26 miles. 3,500ish vert. Numerous fatalities. As far as CDOT is concerned, it's the worst stretch of road they keep open year round in CO. So how can it not be on that list??? Idiot indeed.

and the Royal Gorge thing has no value whatsoever to the topic, it's strictly a name drop to go get people to spend money there.....
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Old 04-20-2009   #7
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I wouldn't call him an idiot, maybe just not as well-informed as he could be.

No matter how many times I drive over Red Mountain, nothing else has the power to inspire such a sense of just how small I am in the scheme of things.

And they do close Red Mountain during major snow storms- but usually only for a few hours.
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Old 04-20-2009   #8
 
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Any pass that ends in Hasbeen, CO is most certainly terrifying!
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Old 04-20-2009   #9
 
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I've been over that pass! But not in the winter. It was a ski trip for our honeymoon, early May. Got dumped on at Crusty Butt for 5 days, it was great! But by the time we were heading over Red Mountain, our desires for some epic spring pass skiing were dashed, the whole freaking thing was sliding left and right. So we blasted out to the desert instead. Fun trip, my first time skiing in CO.
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