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In the past 7 days I have done 6 backcountry tours above the Denny Creek Trailhead at the closure gate in Cottonwood Pass. Denny Creek is most commonly used to access Mt. Yale, and less commonly Hartenstein Lake.

In past tours I had been eyeballing peak 12,739 a sub-peak on Turner Peak's (13,237) east ridge. It appeared to have a number of attractive bowls, chutes and glades...and I was right.

At this point we have an excellent skin trail stomped in climbing the mountain's southeast ridge. To locate the trail climb the initial 4-5 switchbacks up from the trailhead until you see the sign for the boundary of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

within about 50 feet of passing this sign look for a well worn skin track heading off to your left.
This trail switchbacks up the southeast ridge rather directly, weaving through rock out-crops until you hit the first false summit at 11,265. From here you have a nice 1000' gladed run back to the trailhead.

If you follow the trail up from here you reach the base of the 1st bowl in another 250 vertical'.



I haven't skied this bowl yet, but the run-out of it leads into a nice chute and some well spaced glades.



If you climb above the first bowl you get many more options. It isn't too far to the summit.


From the summit you can ski out to the face of the east ridge.


Which offers multiple choices of lines, all quite enjoyable.



Continued below....>
 

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Not too mention the east face drops into some phenomenal boulder fields/pillow drops.





The real highlight of this peak though is the north bowl. You can drop directly from the summit 1000' through the bowl before hitting treeline.



Then once hitting treeline you have your choice of chutes.





Quick and easy access high quality backcountry, no snowmobile required! Seriously, if your looking for somewhere new for some backcountry touring, check it out.
 

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Way Cool!

I had no idea such nice skiing was over there. Those pictures were great, and it may have to be a next great adventure someday. Thanks!
 

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That cant be "the wood" as we all know that there is no good skiing anywhere around bv ;).. That has to be somewhere around summit or maybe monarch pass... After lookin at it - yep I am pretty sure one of thoes pics was of the "perfect trees" on monarch pass :rolleyes:!!

Good to see that you are gettin out in the local zones and it is sweet to see someone is actually takin advantage of the wilderness..
 

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UPDATE:

Last week Tom and I went for another exploratory trip on Cottonwood Pass from the Denny Creek trailhead. This time we crossed to the south side of the road and climbed the ridge above the Gladstone Mine to point 12,651 on Gladstone Ridge.

Looking south toward South Cottonwood and Mt. Antero from the summit.



We dropped in to a nice size bowl that then funneled into a very large chute (by Sawatch standards).





This chute dropped over 2000' before the trees finally started to close in.







The snow was variable, but the coverage is still excellent.



Just another easy access tour around Buena Vista netting a very enjoyable 3000' vertical.
 

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With cool temps and fresh snow I decided to go for a "quicky" up on Cottonwood today...and I wasn't disappointed.

The wildlife was out in full-force on the way up:





and I was able to skin up right from the Denny Creek parking lot, 8-10 inches of fresh on top of what was recently bare ground...but I only had to go a couple hundred feet up into the trees to find a continous base.

Up around 10,400' the snow started to get very nice. Still very deep.



It was definitely still Winter up high.



Exceptionally good conditions for the middle of May!

 
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