The drive from Denver to Aspen via Independence Pass is one of the prettiest in Nth America. The highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide, the Pass is closed in winter and opens early June. David insists that the US National Parks Service drop dynamite from helicopters to clear the snow each year. It sounds crazy to me but Americans do some pretty weird things and maybe this is one of them.
The eastern approach has a series of switchbacks opening out to spectacular views of snow covered peaks By the time we reached the summit the snow by the roadside was several metres high. Coming from a country where snow is something of a rarity we have a fondness for snow covered mountain drives.
We made the mandatory stop at the top of the Pass with a short, cold, hike to a vista about a hundred metres off the road. David strayed a little from the path, stumbled, fell and sank in soft packed snow. For an awful moment I thought all that aggravation flying our bikes here was destined to be a waste of time but he bounced up again quickly with nothing more than a couple of bruises.
Tonight we are safely ensconced in The Viceroy at Snowmass Village - pure luxury and indulgence!
I've had a request for photos - here they are.
|An ice-covered lake on the way to the Pass.|
|The top of the Pass|
|The path David missed - notice the fence posts just peeping above the snow|
|Rounding a switchback.|
For all my posts on this road trip click - here
14 June 2014