Snow often begins to dust the mountains tops this time of year – getting 18" is a good sign for a terrific winter
On Monday the 13th of October, I took a break from work and decided to drive up to the snow line. In addition to playing a little hooky, I wanted to see who the AWD car and tires could handle the conditions. There had been a storm on Saturday, though no in the valleys and the temperature in Edwards and Vail was around 65 degrees F or 18 C.
I headed south on US 23 from Minturn to Camp Hale and the Vail Recreation Area (not to be confused with the ski resort). I didn't hit meaningful snow accumulation until around 9,000 feet, then it started to build up. Fortunately, someone in a serious 4WD vehicle had gone up earlier, so I had tracks to follow. Around 10,000 the fresh snow was easily 12" deep. At 10,500 the vehicle that had gone before me, came back down. When he stopped, he told me he gave up not much further up and turned around - I chose to do the same, but took this photograph first. I make a few sample measures of the snow fall on the road and its banks. They all ranged between 12 and 18 inches!