For our third and final day of the CMC’s Backcountry Ski Touring School (BSTS) our group went up to the Brainard Lake area. A major gateway to the Indian Peaks Wilderness, I’d been up here the previous summer to climb Apache Peak. However, this is the first time I’ve visited the area and its network of winter trails in the snowy season.
We started up the Left Hand Reservoir Road under clearing skies.
Greg deployed his thumb split to try and hitch a ride with another group out skiing.
We branched off to the Little Raven trail which hadn’t yet seen much new traffic since the recent snow. I helped a few others break out the trail down to Brainard Lake itself. From there we cut around the top end of the lake on the snowed-over summer road. For lunch we reached the CMC cabin.
Inside it was toasty warm from a group who’d spent a few nights here. Day guests were welcome and could even pitch in a dollar for water or hot chocolate.
After an hour break we were all ready to fall asleep or head outside into the invigorating cool air. We returned to the Brainard Lake Road and followed it back to the trailhead.
Après ski we hit Southern Sun Pub for warming food and some good beers.