A Wintery Welcome

Ouray, Colorado - snowy in May

After a series of flights and frantic airport connections on Sunday, I finally made it back home to Ouray from Europe! It was quite a shock to come from full-on spring in Germany and Switzerland to full-on dumping snow in Ouray! It seems that spring is in no hurry around here; the trees are still bare and there looks to be quite a bit of snow in the higher peaks. The photo above was taken on Monday morning after about 8 inches of fresh snow blanketed the town overnight.

The recent snow melted in a few days and today I went on a hike up one of the drier trails in the Amphitheater above town.

Ouray, Colorado in May

It’s always interesting to return to the San Juans after visiting foreign mountains. I see with fresh eyes and appreciate the subtle characteristics that make these mountains unique. For example, while the mountains around Ouray aren’t quite as large, dramatic, and glaciated as the Swiss Alps around Engelberg, these mountains are more complex, with a much broader network of connected valleys and branching terrain.

Anyhow, it feels great to be back, and I look forward to a fun summer – especially when Claudia gets here in July! But first, a couple months of springtime adventures on the snow!

4 thoughts on “A Wintery Welcome

  1. Welcome back, Jack! Glad you got to arrive home in some snow. Overall, the San Juans are pretty dry, I think, so the 8 inches definitely didn’t hurt.

    1. Thanks Justin! I haven’t been up in the high peaks yet but the snow looks pretty plentiful from what I can see! Also, last week there was a 4-day storm that dumped 4 feet of snow! And according to a CAIC email I received:

      April snowfall at our Red Mountain Pass study plot has broken the previous record snowfall for the month by 17” as of this AM (records since the 92-93 winter) and is shy of the season snowfall record by 15” as of now-we are at 430” for the year (445” in 92-93 is the most recorded in that time period).

      1. Those are some pretty impressive totals. Looking at the NOAA snowfall maps and judging by the snowfall at Wolf Creek, total snowfall for the season seemed below average. I’m glad to be wrong, though! Two more months, and I’ll be in the San Juans all of July. I can’t wait.

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