Powder Ghost Towns

As an active hut tripper who considers the arestua hut my tried and true favorite back country trip, I am always looking for a new back country experience. I recently ran into someone who told me about a book called "Powder Ghost Towns: Epic Backcountry Runs in Colorado's Lost Ski Resorts", written by Peter Bronski. I, of course, ordered it on Amazon, and found it full of great day trips to explore new areas of Colorado's backcountry.

The book lists in great detail 36 ski areas within Colorado and Wyoming that were either once ski resorts, or were resorts that never got built. It contains some obvious ones, like Berthoud and Adam's Rib, but most of them were areas that were new to me. Each of the 36 areas are broken out into four geographic areas: Northern Front Range, Southern Front Range, San Juan and the Central Mountains. Each ski area description is well documented including details on how to get to each area, the history, trailhead, approach, runs, and two great sections called "the buzz", which gives other back country skier's perspectives on the area, and "apres ski", which lists the closest places to get a snack after your trip. I thought the maps look very detailed, and there are usually a set of GPS waypoints for reference. The format of the book is quite similar to other back country ski books I own, like Colorado Hut to Hut. I appreciated that similarity as it helped me to quickly find and understand the area of interest.

I love to research in detail where I am going when entering any back country. This book provides enough information that using it, along with tools such as Google Earth, and you should have a great back country experience. That being said - the back country should be enjoyed with a friend! Watch out for Tree Wells and make sure you purchase a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) Card

Although I have not trekked out on any of the routes yet, I do look forward to some new adventures into Colorado's powder town history. For people who live on the front range, certainly most of the hikes can be considered day trips, with some in the Indian Peaks area. Naturally, other ski areas are close to existing resorts, so people coming to ski from out of town can get to the areas. I guess you could call Peter Colorado's "Powder Ghost Hunter". Powder Ghost Towns would make a great addition to any skier in love with Colorado.