December 7, 2016
By Nick Kozel
Being a skier in on the northern Front Range in Colorado means that much of my time is spent skiing Cameron pass outside of Fort Collins. Last season a few ski buddies and I decided to take a weekend trip to ski the pass and camp as part of a class project for the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University (CSU). I am currently in my last year as a Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism major. The class was an outdoor leadership class and the assignment was going to Cameron pass to build snow caves as part of a winter camping unit.
We did not go up to Cameron Pass with the plan to do a bunch of skiing, but still brought skis with the hope to get a few turns in. If we had really planned on skiing that day we definitely would have better evaluated the snowpack better than what we did.
Route options on South Diamond Peak, Cameron Pass, CO. Photo: Front Range Ski Mountaineering.
CAIC had forecasted low to medium avalanche conditions. But upon evaluating the snow on our planned slope of South Diamond peak, we made the decision to abandon this plan due to unfavorable snowpack and instead have a laid back evening and toss back a few beers at our campsite.
The next morning when packing up, we noticed that during the night, the entire face of South Diamond had slid from what we could tell all the way to the ground. While we will never know what would have happened if we had decided not to abandon our plan, we were all glad that we kept with our gut and didn’t ski. Honestly, it was not that exciting of a trip, but more #unepicadventures await.
Nick Kozel will be Andorra this winter season, to intern with Grandvalira resort to study avalanches and snow safety.