May (and June) truly are the best months in the mountains.
The view looking down Apache Couloir. 45° slopes become very doable in late-May and June, and I have to say the adrenaline factor during these months is high. I had not skied this area till last June – it was sort of the forbidden zone in my head – but now that I have, I plan to go back many times. A special place.
While May usually entails skinning from the trailhead, June and July involve some walking. I love it. Some may say it's silly to hike three hours for two minutes of turns. And they're right – it is. But that's completely missing the point.
Crust skiing under Neva. Kind of makes doing seven laps around Phoebe Snow seem silly.
As David Brower says, "Skiing without a shirt on in the afternoon sun can be most enjoyable, and, when not overdone, healthful."
Greys and Torreys, two of Colorado mainstay 14ers. May and June are a great time to ski Colorado's biggest peaks, once your fitness reaches a level to actually reach the top. Just make sure to leave early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.
Morning clouds in the mountains are amazing. Fog engulfs Neva as I cross over from the pass to climb it and ski it.
A backpack, a set of skis, an ice axe and a couple candy bars. Wandering the hills all day with this set-up suits me just fine. If you are bold, you can even dip your water bottle straight in the high mountain creeks and drink it as is. I'm bold.
What would May and June be without flowers? The best of the bunch – the Alpine Forget-Me-Not. Tiny specks of blue that shine on the tundra and make me smile.
Well, it's not your typical May and June chalk full of tullips and inner-tubes, but for the few that roam the highcountry with a set of skis on their back, it's as good as it gets. In the meantime, we dab about, stay out of danger and build our fitness for the real ski season.