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Cottonwood Pass Has Opened - June 12, 2008

On The Way Up - Chaffee County (Buena Vista, CO) Side

At 10 a.m., I noticed the Cottonwood Pass sign read "OPEN" in Buena Vista, and within 20 minutes, I was on my way to reach the top. Being the webmaster of this CottonwoodPass.net, how could I not drive up there as soon as possible? (Heck, I might drive back up there this evening to capture the sunset too!) ;)

A few miles past the closing gate at the Denny Creek parking lot, I began taking pictures.

Patches of Snow There are still many patches of snow in the forest.
Turner Peak, CO
Turner Peak, CO
Two views of Turner Peak in the switchback area.
Lots of snow remains above timberline.
Colorado A view of Jones Mountain (right) and Gladstone Ridge (left). A nice snow photo! :)
Snow One token photo of myself - I thought a picture next to the snow bank would be a replication of last year's early drive to the Pass: Cottonwood Pass - May 17, 2007.
Snow Cornice Near the top.

Cottonwood Pass
At Cottonwood Pass - Altitude 12,126 Feet

It was really cold up there - I would say it may have been 30 but the strong winds probably made it in the 0-10 degree range. I was only out there for about 15 minutes, and back home, I have some wind burn on my face.

Cottonwood Pass, CO The beautiful view on the Chaffee County (east) side.

The view on the Gunnison County (west) side.

Notice the small tundra pool that is popular to walk down to is pretty much covered in snow. Only a teeny-tiny part of it is showing signs of thawing.

Snow Cornice A really large snow cornice.
Cottonwood Pass, Colorado There is just so much snow up there right now.
Cottonwood Pass, CO
My car along the snowdrifts made from plowing.

I used the timer to capture a happy photo of me in the snow. To all of my wonderful friends who live in the South: Look at all this snow! :)

Colorado Snow on each side of the road.
Ice Near the Cottonwood Pass sign, I stood on this large patch of ice. :)
Colorado Business Card I created business cards this spring and have been giving them out to tourists, friends and anyone I come across in the mountains. I gave one to a two friendly men with one was visiting from Missouri. The card promotes five of my area web sites that I am proud of: Scenic Buena Vista, Cottonwood Pass, St. Elmo, Mt. Princeton and Twin Lakes, CO.

Will you do me a favor? If you love this area, will you give a link on your personal home page to any or all of these sites? Feel free to tell people about these web sites. Thanks so much!

Cottonwood Pass Road
On The Way Back Down Toward Buena Vista, Colorado

More views of snow coming down.

Mt. Princeton, CO There is one particular portion on Chaffee County Road 306 where the summit of Mt. Princeton can be seen! :)
Snow Cornice
Three more photos of the snow.

From what I read, there were significant concerns about the snow cornices in this area potentially causing problems. June 12 has been the latest date the pass has opened in recent memory.

Here are other recent snowy Colorado pages:

  • Loveland Pass
  • Independence Pass
  • Snowfall Photos (May 13)
  • Snowfall Photos (April 9)
  • Red Rock Canyon, Colorado Springs
  • Turner Peak, CO One last photo of Turner Peak as I returned down into the canyon.

    The photos above were submitted by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. His personal web site is www.ColoradoGuy.com.

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