Early Season Backcountry Snowboarding on Jones Pass

Mike Hardaker Snowboarding Jones Pass Colorado

JONES PASS, CO – El Nino is off to a great start in Colorado, backcountry riders are out in the field enjoying fresh powder and early season turns. With snow on the ground in Boulder I knew it was time to take a drive to the mountains and search of fresh pow.

To date 5 ski resorts are open across the country some boasting the earliest openings in over 40 years!! However we weren’t heading to the resorts just yet..

Jones Pass Backcountry Photo Mike Hardaker | Mountain Weekly News

Jones Pass Backcountry Photo Mike Hardaker | Mountain Weekly News

Colorado is blessed with many high mountain passes and areas with lots of wind loading creating deep pockets of snow and instability. If you have some AVI training a bit of common sense the backcountry can be a great playground. pro tip: if you live in Colorado and like shredding powder be sure to try the Never Summer West snowboard this season.

Not a bad view, Jones Pass Backcountry Photo Mike Hardaker | Mountain Weekly News

Not a bad view, Jones Pass Backcountry Photo Mike Hardaker | Mountain Weekly News

Over 50″ of wind loaded fresh snow – that’s some pit data I didn’t think I would ever see in October! With that much fresh snow and wind loading we decided to listen to the mountains and ride in safer terrain.

Justin McCarty scoping his line on Jones Pass Photo Mike Hardaker | Mountain Weekly News

Justin McCarty scoping his line on Jones Pass Photo Mike Hardaker | Mountain Weekly News

Our first run was about 1200 vertical feet the snow conditions changed a bit from top to bottom but great pow turns were had the first 2/3 the way down. At the bottom of the first run we found a little chute that was holding great snow so we hiked back up and dropped into a playful little zone.

Mike Hardaker Likes to Ride Powder Photo Justin McCarty | Mountain Weekly News

Mike Hardaker Likes to Ride Powder Photo Justin McCarty | Mountain Weekly News

We climbed up from the bottom, pulled out the slope meeter and it read 43 degrees, only about 600 feet but man did it work me for the first hike of the season. Wonder if this is how Jeremy and Travis get there first turns of the season??

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