Every year when Trail Ridge Road opens one can access a fantastic set of lines on Sundance.
The approach is as easy as it gets with the north face line only taking about ten minutes and the north face is such a fun line!
There are other options closer to the true summit and require jumping off a cornice to access them. Because I was solo on this day, I opted for the RMNP classic line on the north face.
Opening day most years you can ski this line all the way down to Old Fall River Road. As the days get longer, however, the bottom section is prone to melting out quickly.
After you ski you boot back up to your car or walk down Fall River Road to a stashed car. On this day I easily skied from the summit and angled down to the North face. The top of the line is really mellow and prime for some serious spring corn.
If you are just getting into ski mountaineering, this is one of the lines you must go for before venturing farther off the beaten path as it doesn’t go over 20 degrees. Once past this upper section the real skiing begins and depending on your line, you can venture into the 50 degree range. As I approached the steeper section the snow had just ripened to perfect corn and I ripped it all the way down to the Old Fall River Road. At the bottom I put crampons on and booted back up the line and even had a small storm drop a quick inch on me.
The old saying in Colorado was true on this day, if you don’t like the weather wait ten minutes. It went from a perfect day to a full on storm for ten minutes then back to a gorgeous day. All the more reason to take every line in the park seriously, even if you can see your car the entire way down.
From the top of the line I clicked back in and skied all the way back to my car at the Rock Cut TH.
This line has the easiest approach in the entire Park and I think it should become a tradition that every year on opening day all of us skiers should meet at the TH to ski and tailgate. Who’s in?